Tahlequah the killer whale who has gone viral after carrying her dead calf around for 17 days is now a proud mother after giving birth to her calf on September 4.
As the Center for Whale Research confirmed, both Tahlequah, also known as J35, and her calf, known as J57, appear to be healthy and are enjoying swimming side by side.
According to the Center, the calf was “swimming vigorously alongside its mother” when it was spotted by researchers and a veterinarian on September 5.
The life story of Tahlequah the orca has become an international sensation after the animal carried her dead calf on her head for 17 days back in 2018.
According to the whale research center, the now-21-year-old orca carried the calf for some 1,000 miles in what they dubbed the ‘Tour of Grief’.
Since the killer whale had already lost her calf in 2018, experts had feared that her pregnancy would once again face the same outcome until they came across her healthy calf.
“Tahlequah was mostly separate from the other whales and being very evasive as she crossed the border into Canada, so we ended our encounter with her after a few minutes and wished them well on their way.
We hope this calf is a success story,” the Center for Whale Research wrote in a press release.
As they also went on to explain, “a large percentage of pregnancies fail” due to “whales having so much nutritional stress in recent years.” According to the site, “there is about a 40% mortality for young calves.”
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