Mourning mother killer whale spotted while carrying dead calf for more than 17 days [VIDEO]

Marine researchers are concerned about mother killer whale's health

Orca killer whale
Orca killer whale Pixabay

It will be a mistake if humans believe that since they are the most advanced and intelligent species that means they are blessed to have all kind of emotions, because recently an orca was seen carrying its child, who was died last month just minutes later its birth, around the Pacific Northwest, more than 17 days. You can tag this incident as a weird event but, it must be an unbearable truth for the mother whale to see its child's dead body.

Sheila Thornton, lead killer-whale scientist for Fisheries and Oceans Canada told The Seattle Times, "These are very intelligent animals, and the loss of this animal is quite profound for the matriline and everyone who witnesses it."

Reports stated that the mother killer whale known as J35 was first seen on July 24 while carrying the child on her nose and in her mouth. Later, Thornton spotted the mother orca on Wednesday, August 8. He saw that the mother was pushing the tiny whale's body off the coast of the Olympic Peninsula. On the next day, she was again seen while carrying the motionless body of her child.

Later, the investigation done by Biologists from the Center for Whale Research stated that the baby whale was only briefly alive and has since been decomposing. Scientists have said is an "unprecedented" showing of grief.

"There are many species who do undertake this sort of behaviour if a young animal has failed to survive, they will carry the carcass, you can look at that as mourning behaviour," Thornton said.

Deborah Giles, a research scientist at the University of Washington's Center for Conservation Biology told Huffington Post, "This is completely unprecedented, and honestly your guess is as good as ours as far as what is going on here. Think it's really easy to put human emotions on it, but personally, I think it's accurate. I think she is grieving."

The researchers are planning to take the dead body of the little killer whale away from its mother J35 as they are concerned about her health. But, Giles believes that the mourning may soon come to an end.

In addition, Thornton said that the researchers have serious "concerns about the displacement of her behaviour away from foraging and feeding, to carrying the calf, and concerns over the length of time of this behaviour as it continues, and the possibility of decreasing her ability to forage effectively."