Orca back to feeding, frolicking after carrying dead calf for 17 days

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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 […]

 Researchers say an endangered killer whale that drew international attention as she carried her dead calf on her head for more than two weeks is finally back to feeding and frolicking with her pod.

The Center for Whale Research in Washington state says it watched the orca, known as J35, chase a school of salmon in Haro Strait west of San Juan Island on Saturday afternoon.

The whales have been struggling because of a lack of salmon, and J35’s calf died soon after birth on July 24. The mother carried the baby on her head for at least 17 days, in an image of grief that struck an emotional chord worldwide.

She finally abandoned the carcass as it decomposed.

Center for Whale Research founder Ken Balcomb says he is immensely relieved to see J35 returning to typical behavior.

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