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Saturday, 19th September 2020

Killer Whale Tahlequah: The Ocra who carried dead calf for days is pregnant again

By Preeti Soodan Devgan -
  • Updated
  • :
  • 29th July 2020,
  • 7:13 PM

Killer whales first came into notice in August 2018 when she was spotted carrying her dead calf for a week.

Tahlequah the Ocra is pregnant again

According to the latest reports, scientists of Washington has made a discovery of Southern resident killer whales while recording drone images. Southern resident killer whales are listed as endangered buy US and Canada. Tahlequah is a part of a community of three pods with 72 killer whales. Several times they were encountered in inland Marine waters of Washington state in the US and in the southern end of Vancouver Island in Canada. These whales first came into notice in August 2018 when she was spotted carrying her dead calf for a week.

Scientists John Durban, senior scientist of Southall environmental associates, and Holly Fernbach, Marine mammal research director of the nonprofit SR3 had captured few images of the whales from the distant. The images which were taken were not from more than a hundred feet above this species with a motive not to disturb them. These images of whales were a part of his long-term study into their condition”, the Seattle times said.

Although, the scientist said,” pregnancy among Southern resident killer whales are not unusual because recent pregnancy has not resulted in successful births. Earlier, two Southern resident killer whales had successfully given birth and they are still alive.

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“The grief was unusual. we have spotted a mother while carrying their dead babies a couple of years ago. It’s a record”, said Ken Balcomb, senior scientist at the centre for whale research.

Ocra population is made up of three social groups and is a large extended family and each Ocra from each pod are expecting according to SR3. It is not unusual but it is spotted that the majority of pregnancies have not been successful. In 2018, Tahlequah swam for 17 days while carrying their dead newborn’s. She pushed her calf towards the surface of the Pacific off the coast of Canada and the northwestern US and refused to let it sink.

SR3 shared photos online of J35 and L72, another pregnant Ocra. These aerial images were clicked in September 2019 when they were several months pregnant and the other one was recently clicked in July 2020 which shows increase width of their mid-sized body revealing their final stage. Generally, killer whales are pregnant for 17-18 months according to SR3.

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