After more than two weeks, orca drops body of her dead calf


A grieving mother orca has finally let her dead calf go, ending her "tour of grief".

Researchers say an endangered killer whale that drew global attention as she carried her dead calf on her head for more than two weeks is finally back to feeding and frolicking with her pod.

The Center for Whale Research says the killer whale, known as J35, was spotted without her baby while she "vigorously chased a school of salmon" for about a kilometre over the weekend.

The mother whale named Tahlequah, or J35, had given birth to a baby southern resident killer whale on July 24, near Victoria, British Columbia in Canada.

"Her tour of grief is now over and her behavior is remarkably frisky".

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The mother whale - known as J35 - has captivated the world's attention in the past few days. "Telephoto digital images taken from shore show that this mother whale appears to be in good physical condition", says the Centre 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", researchers said.

"The carcass has probably sunk to the bottom of these inland marine waters of the Salish Sea [between Canada and the US], and researchers may not get a chance to examine it for necropsy (autopsy of an animal)".

Both Canada and the U.S. list the Southern Resident killer whale as endangered.