Orca spotted without dead calf after 17 days

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

Grieving Orca Whale Releases Dead Calf After More Than Two Weeks

The Center for Whale Research has confirmed that the mother's "tour of grief" is finally over.

Tahlequah captured nationwide attention after being spotted carrying her dead calf, which died about a half hour after being born on July 24, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said. The mother was not ready to let go, and carried the calf along with her as she swam.

In addition to tugging at heartstrings, the calf's loss was a major blow to the local endangered killer whales' population, which has just 75 orcas.

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

The centre called the mother's ordeal "record-setting".

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.

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The centre says J35 appears to be in good health based on telephoto images, in spite of concerns that she may not be able to forage for food while carrying around the carcass.

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.

"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)".

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