An Orca Gives Birth to Healthy New Baby after Carrying Dead Calf for 17 Days

An Orca who carried her dead calf for more than two weeks in 2018 has once again given…
Orca

An Orca who carried her dead calf for more than two weeks in 2018 has once again given birth to a healthy baby. On Saturday, the new calf was seen swimming with its mother in the U.S. waters of the Strait of Juan de Fuca.

The Center for Whale Research described the calf as “healthy and precocious.”  On September 4, the calf who is known as J57 was born to mother J35. Two years ago, J35 carried her dead calf for 17 days, carried it through a “tour of grief” in 2018.

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J35 is the mother of J pod, one of three endangered groups of Orca living off the coast of British Columbia and Washington state.

With this calf, the total number of southern resident killer whales now amount to 73. The endangered whales have struggled for survival in recent years. The southern residents  feed on chinook salmon, which is now scarce.

According to the Center for Whale Research, many pregnancies fail due to nutritional failure and there is a 40% mortality rate for young calves.

We hope this calf is a success story.

center for whale research

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