The Orca whale, named Tahlequah, carried her dead calf for nearly 1,000 miles in 2018. Now she's pregnant again.
Almost two years ago, the world grieved for an orca known as Tahlequah after she carried her dead calf for 17 days. According to a report by CNN, Tahlequah is pregnant once again and we cannot be happier for her. She also goes by the name J-35 and had given birth two years ago. Back then, it was the first baby orca for her in three years. Unfortunately, her calf died just 30 minutes later after she gave birth, reported the Seattle Times.
🥰 Fantastic news from across the pond this #NationalMarineWeek!— CBMWC News (@CBMWC) July 29, 2020
Tahlequah, the #killerwhale who infamously carried her dead #calf for 17 days back in 2018, appears to be #pregnant again! 🐬💙👶https://t.co/hs60k9iQjJ@WTSWW @LivingSeasWales @HeritageFundUK @PostcodeLottery
Heartbroken, she carried her dead baby for 17 days and traveled almost 1,000 miles. Tahlequah is part of the Southern Resident whales that primarily reside in the Puget Sound in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States. In 2005, Orca whales were listed as endangered species. The Orcas make up three different pods and they have been dubbed J, K, and L.
"#Tahlequah, the southern resident killer whale who broke hearts around the world when she carried her dead calf for 17 days and more than 1,000 miles, is pregnant again," writes the author, @orosane #Orcas #marinelife @oceana @WWF https://t.co/sK1HjQPY8j— EcoWatch (@EcoWatch) July 28, 2020
While unsuccessful pregnancies are not uncommon among the Southern Resident orcas, Tahlequah's story is notable because her story was extremely heartbreaking. At present, going by the drone pictures, she's just one of several pregnant killer whales that have been identified by researchers since early July, according to SR3, a sea life response, rehab, and research group.
J35 Tahlequah is pregnant again after the loss of her newborn female calf 2 years ago.— Save Our Whales 🐳 (@OrcaSpotlight) July 27, 2020
In addition to this news, it was announced several juveniles in the population are looking thin, including J35's only surviving offspring, J47 Notch. pic.twitter.com/Jf29iVLFOC
An online release read, "Studies by our colleagues at the University of Washington have shown that these reproductive failures are linked to nutrition and access to their Chinook salmon prey. So, we hope folks on the water can give the Southern Residents plenty of space to forage at this important time."
In 2018, Tahlequah swam for 17 days with her dead newborn. Refusing to let it sink, she pushed her calf toward the surface of the Pacific off the coast of Canada and the Northwestern US. https://t.co/Y1HmlySoxw— KEYT NewsChannel 3 (@KEYTNC3) July 29, 2020
Scientists John Durban and Holly Fearnbach, who work with the Southall Environmental Associates and SR3 respectively discovered that Tahlequah is pregnant once again. A picture of the killer whale from this month, compared to a picture from September last year shows her middle notably enlarged and the gestation period of Orca whales is usually between 15 to 18 months.
Finally some peaceful news. 🐳— MadonnaTorres (@Madonnaal21) July 28, 2020
While the killer whale's pregnancy is definitely good news, but even her second pregnancy is not guaranteed, since about a third of the pregnancies among the Southern Residents aren't successful, a study from the University of Washington reads. The study notes, "Lack of prey, increased toxins, and vessel disturbance have been listed as potential causes of the whale’s decline." Apart from that, the main food source of Orcas is Chinook salmon, which are also endangered.
I’ll be praying for that calf. Congratulations big mama💕— Salina Major (@MajorSalina) July 28, 2020
According to another report by the National Wildlife Federation, climate change and pollution are also posing a huge threat to the marine population, including these killer whales. Back in 2018, the Center for Whale Research published a press release about her dead calf. It read, "At sunset, a group of 5-6 females gathered at the mouth of the cove in a close, tight-knit circle, staying at the surface in a harmonious circular motion for nearly 2 hours...[After dark] they stayed directly centered in the moonbeam, even as it moved."