logo

Grieving orca mother carried her dead calf on her forehead for days

Cheryl Kahla
Aug 13, 2018
04:55 P.M.

An orca whale named Tahlequah gave birth to a calf late last month. Sadly, the calf died within 30 minutes of being born, and Tahlequah couldn't let go.

Advertisement

The whale made headlines across the globe when she began to carry her dead calf on her forehead, more than a 1,000 miles, for more than two weeks.

Read more on our Twitter account, @amomama_usa, and scroll down to see the footage.

Tahlequah, also known as J35, is 20 years old, grieved for 17 days before finally letting go. The incident baffled researches, who observed her the entire time.

Advertisement

The calf was born on July 24 and researcher postulated that a lack of salmon had lead to its death. When the calf began to decompose, Tahlequah let it sink to the ocean bed.

It has since been reported that Tahlequah returned to her pod and was observed frolicking off the coast of Washington, in the Haro Strait.

This is the third calf Tahlequah lost in the past eight years and the founding director of the Center for Whale Research, Ken Balcomb, remarked:

Advertisement

"It may have been emotionally hard on her."

Balcomb is also glad that she is eating again regularly and that she was reunited with her pod as isolation would have been the end for her.

Tahlequah is not the first ocra to carry her dead calf, and dolphins have also been observed carrying their dead.

These incidents were researched two years ago when scientists noted that dolphins and orcas mourn and "hold vigils" for their departed brethren.

Advertisement

Deborah Giles, a whale biologist, added:

“You cannot interpret it any other way. This is an animal that is grieving for its dead baby, and she doesn’t want to let it go. She’s not ready.”

Orcas are dying out, and it was noted with concern that their population dropped by 20% over the past twenty years. Tahlequah's baby was the first calf in 3 years born alive.

Advertisement
info
Please fill in your e-mail so we can share with you our top stories!
By subscribing, you agree to our Privacy Policy
Advertisement
Related posts

Devastated Mom Wants to Adopt, Spots Girl at Adoption Agency Strikingly Similar to Her Late Daughter — Story of the Day

March 01, 2024

Rich Little Girl Cries & Refuses to Return Home After Kindergarten until Teacher Checks Her Home — Story of the Day

February 16, 2024

Woman Opens Her Door and Sees Crying Little Girl Who Claims Her Mom Is in the House — Story of the Day

April 01, 2024

16 Years after Dad’s Disappearance, Girl Finds Envelope Full of Money and a Note under the Door – Story of the Day

March 11, 2024

We Kissed Our Daughter Goodbye & Turned Off Her Life Support — Minutes Later, We Heard Her Voice

March 20, 2024

Texas Girl, 11, Found Dead – Her Dad Finally Speaks Out after His Friend Was Charged with the Murder

February 27, 2024

I Invited My Colleague to Secretly Introduce Her to My Single Grandson – My Heart Stopped as They Saw Each Other

April 16, 2024

After Mom's Death, Woman Leaves Poor Sister with Nothing, but She Finds Old Doll in the Attic — Story of the Day

February 07, 2024

Boy Helps Poor Old Lady Carry Her Groceries, His Mom Gets $265K Home as Reward Few Days Later — Story of the Day

March 05, 2024

Old Lady Thinks Her Husband Died in Fire, Years Later She Accidentally Sees Him with Young Woman — Story of the Day

May 12, 2024

Man Gave up Millions of Inheritance for an Old Teddy Bear – It Turned out to Be a Brilliant Revenge Plan

April 13, 2024

Ann-Margret Cared for Husband Who Couldn't Walk – She Struggled for 13 Years to Get Pregnant Though He Made Her a Mom

April 25, 2024

Mother Came Out of Coma After 17 Years and Took Revenge on Her Own Daughter – Story of the Day

March 06, 2024

Girl, 4, Grieves for Dad Who Mysteriously Died after Going to Watch a Football Game: Details

January 26, 2024