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Tahlequah, the orca who carried her dead calf for seventeen days in 2018, is pregnant again

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    Her second calf, a female, was born on July 24, 2018, near Victoria, British Columbia; she was alive, but died within a half-hour of her birth. The infant population and health of the Southern Residents community had declined in the early 21st century, due in part to a smaller supply of Chinook salmon and the presence of polluting substances in the Salish Sea.

    J35 carried the calf's body on her rostrum while following the pod around the San Juan Islands and interior waters of British Columbia over the following two weeks. Whale researchers noted that J35 looked emaciated and other pod members were showing concern for her health. After the seventh day, other members began taking turns floating the calf while allowing J35 to rest. By the ninth day, the calf had shown signs of visible decomposition and was becoming harder to carry. The pod disappeared for several days in early August, but were spotted on August 8, with J35 still carrying her calf after 16 days. By the following day, after 1,000 miles (1,600 km) of swimming, J35 released the calf and rejoined the J pod with no apparent signs of malnutrition or ill health.

    Her unusually long period of grieving attracted international attention and an outpouring of sympathy, comparing her actions to that of a human mother.

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