FILE - In this file photo taken Tuesday, July 24, 2018, provided by the Center for Whale Research, a baby orca whale is being pushed by her mother after being born off the Canada coast near Victoria, British Columbia. Whale researchers are keeping close watch on an endangered orca that has spent the past week carrying and keeping her dead calf afloat in Pacific Northwest waters. The display has struck an emotional chord around the world and highlighted the plight of the declining population of southern resident killer whales that has not seen a successful birth since 2015.(Michael Weiss/Center for Whale Research via AP)

Grieving orca highlights plight of endangered whales

August 01, 2018 - 12:56 pm

SEATTLE (AP) — Whale researchers are keeping close watch on an endangered orca that has spent the past week carrying and keeping her dead calf afloat in Pacific Northwest waters.

The display has struck an emotional chord around the world and highlighted the plight of the declining population of southern resident killer whales that has not seen a successful birth since 2015.

Researchers have observed the 20-year-old whale known as J35 for over a week now pushing her dead young along and propping it up while swimming for miles in the waters of Washington state and British Columbia.

The Seattle Times reports the whale was seen Tuesday night still clinging to the dead calf off British Columbia. Experts say the orca and other family members traveling with her are grieving or mourning.

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