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The Killer Whale Who Mourned Her Baby Two Years Ago Has A New Calf



  • The orca that has gone viral two years ago after she mourned the death of her calf has now given birth to a new young.
  • Tahlequah lost her baby in 2018 and her mourning lasted for 17 days as she swam carrying the dead calf for about 1,000 miles around the Salish sea.
  • Now she has a new calf which the Center for Whale Research says she’s very protective of.

Two years ago, the killer whale named Tahlequah lost her baby, and she mourned for it for 17 days. Now the orca has given birth to a new calf says the Center for Whale Research which keeps watch of the whales in the Pacific Northwest area.

In a photo uploaded on Twitter, the center expressed how happy they are as Tahlequah can be seen swimming with her baby which looks “healthy and precocious.”

“We know that it was not born today because its dorsal fin was upright, and we know that it takes a day or two to straighten after being bent over in the womb, so we assign its birthday as September 4, 2020,” they said.

Tahlequah, also known as J35 by the researchers, got pregnant again in February last year. The new calf is assigned with the name J57. 

It could be remembered that the killer whale mom made headlines back in 2018 after she was seen swimming carrying her dead calf for 17 days around the Salish Sea. She is said to have travelled with her baby that died after birth for about 1,000 miles.

“It was heartbreaking,” Whale Museum’s Soundwatch Boater Education Program coordinator, Taylor Shedd, told TODAY. “I can only imagine the stress and the pain she must be going through.”

Photo Credit: Taylor Shedd

So were millions of people on the internet. Tahlequah loss and pain resonates with them as they call her mourning “tour of grief.”

The center now hopes Tahlequah’s newborn calf is a success story noting that there has been “so much nutritional stress in recent years, a large percentage of pregnancies fail, and there is about a 40% mortality rate for young calves.”

So far, the newborn’s gender has yet to be identified but the latest sighting shows it is strong and healthy and Tahlequah has been very protective of her young.


“Tahlequah was mostly separate from the other whales and being very evasive as she crossed the border into Canada,” the center said, “so we ended our encounter with her after a few minutes and wished them well on their way.”

Source: TODAY.Com