An endangered orca whale died shortly after his birth on Tuesday, and the Calf's mother took care of the body for three days.

The calf was born near Victoria, British Columbia, about 75 miles northwest of Seattle. Researchers tracking Southern Resident killer whales responded to the scene, the Center for Whale Research said in a press release.

The organization watched as the baby's body sank and the mother repeatedly brought it to the surface on Tuesday. The mother supported the body of her offspring on her forehead as she pushed him onto an island, the organization said.

On Thursday, the mother – with the inscription J35 – with her calf, Ken Balcomb, founder and main researcher, went to the third day of mourning (19659006) "It still happens," he said Thursday night. He said that he had observed the behavior before, but not for that long time.

The organization says that killer whales and dolphins display strong maternal-progeny attachments and sometimes carry dead calves for up to a week.

Southern Resident Killer Whales are a clan of 76 orcas that are on the brink of extinction, says the organization.

Deborah Giles, science and research director of the charitable organization Wild Orca told The Seattle Times that she has observed similar behavior among Orca whales. Lesser amounts of time

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"It's terrible." This is an animal She is a sentient being who understands the social bonds she has with the rest of her family, "she told the publication.

"(The mother) is tied to the calf and she does not want to let it go. It's that simple. She mourns," she said of the case she had been watching.

The Center for Whale Research says the situation for killer whales in the South is dire: three-quarters of newborns in the last two decades have died and there have been no successful pregnancies. "Whales face three major challenges: poisons, shipping and food deprivation , especially chinook salmon, this food source is itself largely endangered, "says the Center for Whale Research.

Post: The Associated Press

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