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Home / World / Tahlequah: Orca drops the body of a dead calf and, as researchers say, appears playful

Tahlequah: Orca drops the body of a dead calf and, as researchers say, appears playful




Tahlequah pushes her dead calf on the second day of her long, sad journey. (Ken Balcomb / Center for Whale Research)

A mourning Orca whale has freed the body of his dead calf after him According to researchers, he has them at least 17 days long through the Pacific Ocean in an unprecedented act of mourning carried.

On Saturday, Tahlequah, as the mother is called, was watched as she could swim without the body of her calf Ken Balcomb, founder of Center for Whale Research

"Her tour of grief is over now and her behavior is remarkable playful ", read an update on the website of the Research Center.

The center said whale watchers near Vancouver, BC, had reported watching Tahlequah last week without seeing the body of their calf, but on Saturday, researchers were able to confirm these reports for the first time.

Tahlequah's grief had amazed and devastated much of the world.

The Orca gave birth on July 25 in what should have been a happy milestone for their boring clan

As Allyson Chiu wrote for the Washington Post, the group of killer whales that roams between Vancouver and San Juan Island is over Decreased to 75 members over the decades. The cause is no secret: humans have caught the salmon of whales, driven ships through their hunting grounds and polluted their waters, so the researchers fear that Tahlequah's generation may be the last of their family.

The orange baby that had come out of her this morning was the first live birth in the pod since 2015, Chiu wrote. It took about half an hour.

Humans love to humanize animals, often deceptively. But studies have found that orcas really do have a high degree of intelligence and empathy, and emotions that can not be completely alien to our own.

When Tahlequah did not let her emaciated calf sink to the bottom of the Pacific, she rather balanced her on her head and pushed her further while following her capsule, researchers thought they understood what was going on.

"You can not interpret it any differently," Deborah Giles, killer whale biologist at the University of Washington, said Chiu. "This is an animal mourning his dead baby, and she will not let it go, she is not ready."

This was the beginning of a long funeral. "The hours became days," Chiu wrote two days after death. "And on Thursday she was still seen pushing her baby to the water surface."

And the next day, and through the weekend, and into the next week and next month.

The act itself was not unprecedented, but researchers said it was rare to see a mother dead for so long. It could not have been easy for her. Tahlequah's capsule travels dozens of miles in a day, Chiu wrote, pushing hundreds of pounds each inch of her baby's path. She took the body up again and again as he sank, lifting him out of the water to catch his breath and repeating.

Researchers from Canadian and US governments and other organizations were following them all the time, the Seattle Times wrote. They hoped to catch the calf when Tahlequah finally let go and discovered why it had died – as almost all the babies in this capsule seemed.

But Tahlequah did not let go. Finally, the researchers stopped calling what they considered "rare" and started using the word "unprecedented".

And the phenomenon was no longer of purely scientific interest.

Humans wrote poems about Tahlequah and drew pictures, and people lost their sleep to the whale A scientist cried and thought of her, and Tahlequah inspired politicians and essayists – and a sense of interspecies kinship in some mothers who also lost children.

Yet, Tahlequah carried her child The world's exploits eventually grew to encompass their whole family.

Last week, the Times wrote, biologists and government officials began working on a plan to become the youngest member of Talhequah's life Saving pod – a 3 year old orca – that seems to be on the brink of hunger. They are following the young whale – Scarlet – in an attempt to feed their antibiotic-sliced ​​salmon.

In this sense, Tahlequah's lost calf may have brought new hope to the pod, which had previously swum and fought in an almost anonymous condition

At the same time, the mother's obsession for the researchers had become seriously disconcerting. They feared that the effort to push their calf for about 1,000 miles would weaken Tahlequah and prevent them from finding enough food. Fortunately, this does not seem to be the case.

The Center for Whale Research said that Tahlequah "chased a salmon school with her colleagues" when researchers discovered her on Saturday.

The scientists had ruled that they were trying to force them to abandon the calf, according to the Times. Her emotional attachment was just too strong.

This item has been updated.

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