Orca whale who carried her dead calf 17 days lets it go, ending ‘tour of grief’

KOMO via ABCNews.com(FRIDAY HARBOR, Wash.) -- Grieving Orca whale who hold on to her dead calf for more than 2 weeks, has let go of the dead body of her offspring.

The 30-year-old southern resident killer whale who was spotted pushing the corpse of its short-lived offspring since 24 July, 30 minutes after it gave birth to her baby at least until 17 days later, has finally let go of her dead calf, according to researcher.

On the afternoon of August 11, the orca whale, J35, also known as Tahlequah vigorously chased a school of salmon with her pod-mates in mid-Haro Strait in front of the Center for Whale Research for a half mile - no longer carrying the deceased baby that she had carried for at least seventeen days and 1,000 miles, according to Center for Whale Research.

Ken Balcomb, founder of the Center for Whale Research who has been monitoring J35 since she gave birth to her short-lived baby, saw J35 again on Sunday. This Monday morning, Balcomb is on his boat to find her to observe her behavior.

"I feel much relieve," Balcomb told ABC News before getting on his boat.

"I'm hoping this ordeal is over."

“Her tour of grief is now over and her behavior is remarkably frisky,” Center for Whale Research wrote on its website.

Telephoto digital images taken from shore show that this mother whale appears to be in good physical condition following her record-setting ordeal, according to Center for Whale Research.

There had been reports from brief sightings by whale-watchers two days ago that J35, Tahlequah, was not pushing the calf carcass in Georgia Strait near Vancouver, British Columbia, the website says. It went on saying that “now we can confirm that she definitely has abandoned it.”

Researcher initially planed to study the body of the dead calf to to find out what lead to her death, but the body of the dead baby not seen in the water.

“The carcass has probably sunk to the bottom of these inland marine waters of the Salish Sea, and researchers may not get a chance to examine it for necropsy,” the website says.

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