Orca whale mother's 'tour of grief' over after almost 3 weeks

Grieving orca lets go of dead calf after carrying it over 2 weeks

Yesterday, the mother, J35, was spotted vigorously chasing a school of salmon with her pod-mates in mid-Haro Strait in front of the centre.

The calf died soon after birth in July, and the orca mom had carried the body for almost three weeks while traveling hundreds of miles.

"She is alive and well and at least over that part of her grief".

"J35 frolicked past my window today with other J pod whales, and she looks vigorous and healthy", he said.

"Telephoto digital images taken from shore show that this mother whale appears to be in good physical condition", CWR said in a statement on Saturday.

Killer whales have been known to carry dead calves for a week, but scientists believe this mother "sets a record".

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Researchers had anxious J35, who was last spotted with her dead calf Wednesday, was not eating properly and was spending too much energy pushing the corpse.

She finally abandoned the carcass as it decomposed.

The centre says the carcass likely sank to the bottom of the Salish Sea, and researchers may not get a chance to perform a necropsy.

VANCOUVER-Researchers say an endangered orca's "tour of grief" is over after she spent almost three weeks towing her dead calf around the Pacific Ocean.

About 75 per cent of newborns have not survived for long after birth in the past 20 years and as a result the southern resident killer whale population has been classified as endangered.

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