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Orca that carried dead calf 1,000 miles in 2018 is a mother again

Orca that carried dead calf 1,000 miles in 2018 is a mother again
Posted at 11:05 AM, Sep 08, 2020

The orca whale that made headlines in July 2018 for carrying her dead calf 1,000 miles is a mother again.

Researches at the Center for Whale Research announced that Tahlequah, also known as J-35, gave birth last week.

J57 and J35

"J-35's new calf appeared healthy and precocious, swimming vigorously alongside its mother in its second day of free-swimming life," researchers said in a press release. "We know that it was not born today because its dorsal fin was upright, and we know that it takes a day or two to straighten after being bent over in the womb, so we assign its birthday as September 4, 2020."

New calf, J57, with mom, J35

The mother and calf were spotted in the Strait of Juan de Fuca between Washington State and Vancouver Island, researchers said.

The center says the new calf, which is now known as J-57, has increased the pod's population to 73.

J47, J57, and J35

Researchers say that although this is a success story, the pregnancy mortality rate is still high due to a lack of food.

"Regrettably, with the whales having so much nutritional stress in recent years, a large percentage of pregnancies fail, and there is about a 40% mortality for young calves," the center said.