victoria - A heartbreaking scene. A killer whale named Tahlequah (J35) could not let go of her deceased calf. For two and a half weeks the killer whale pushed her dead daughter along with her forehead. Last Saturday she said goodbye to her young.
Over the past seventeen days, the mother traveled more than 1,600 kilometers off the coast of the United States and Canada. All the while she kept her deceased young above water, to prevent the carcass from sinking. 'Her journey of grief is now over and her behavior is remarkably playful,' writes the Center for Whale Research.
Unfortunately, it happens more often that young calves do not survive. According to the scientists, a lack of food- especially the quinook salmon- and toxic substances that come into the water from shipping, are the cause of this.