Killer whale Tahlequah 'who mourned her dead calf for 17 DAYS' gives birth

An orca named Tahlequah that touched the hearts of people around the world in 2018 after she carried her dead calf for 17 days has given birth to a new baby. 

The 21 year-old orca — or 'killer whale' — gave birth on September 4 to her new calf, dubbed 'J57' by researchers, in the eastern Strait of Juan de Fuca in US waters. 

According to the Whale Research Center, Tahlequah and her new calf appear to be healthy with the infant 'swimming vigorously alongside its mother'. 

Tahlequah gave birth to one calf in 2010 that survives to this day — 'J47', also known as 'Notch' — but she also miscarried a calf in mid-2010 before losing the 2018 calf soon after birth. Experts feared she was likely also lose this new one. 

An orca named Tahlequah that touched the hearts of people around the world in 2018 after she carried her dead calf for 17 days has given birth to a new baby

An orca named Tahlequah that touched the hearts of people around the world in 2018 after she carried her dead calf for 17 days has given birth to a new baby

Her pregnancy was first reported by whale watchers in July after experts from the Sealife Response, Rehabilitation and Research conservation group spotted that she was larger than usual.

'We hope folks on the water can give the Southern Residents plenty of space to forage at this important time. With such a small population every successful birth is hugely important for recovery,' the nonprofit group wrote at the time. 

So it came as a relief to experts when J57, yet to be given a common name by the research team, was born between Washington State and Vancouver Island.  

According to the Whale Research Center, Tahlequah and her new calf appear to be healthy with the infant 'swimming vigorously alongside its mother'

According to the Whale Research Center, Tahlequah and her new calf appear to be healthy with the infant 'swimming vigorously alongside its mother'

The 21 year-old orca — or 'killer whale' — gave birth on September 4 to her new calf, dubbed 'J57' by researchers, in the eastern Strait of Juan de Fuca in US waters.

The 21 year-old orca — or 'killer whale' — gave birth on September 4 to her new calf, dubbed 'J57' by researchers, in the eastern Strait of Juan de Fuca in US waters.

'Hooray! Her new calf appeared healthy and precocious, swimming vigorously alongside its mother in its second day of free-swimming life,' researchers said.

The centre did not release the gender of the new calf as they cut observations short.

It said that when Tahlequah was spotted she was mostly separate from the other whales and 'very evasive' as she crossed the border into Canada. 

'So we ended our encounter with her after a few minutes and wished them well on their way,' the centre said. 'We hope this calf is a success story.' 

Researchers can't say exactly when the calf was born, but have set its birth date as September 4 due to the fact its dorsal fin was upright when they spotted it.

'We know that it takes a day or two to straighten after being bent over in the womb, so we assign its birthday as September 4, 2020,' the team explained.

Her pregnancy was first reported by whale watchers in July after experts from the Sealife Response, Rehabilitation and Research conservation group spotted that she was larger than usual

Her pregnancy was first reported by whale watchers in July after experts from the Sealife Response, Rehabilitation and Research conservation group spotted that she was larger than usual

Tahlequah shot to worldwide fame in 2018 when she carried her stillborn calf for 17 days - and over 1,000 miles - through the Salish Sea off Washington State.

WHAT ARE THE MAIN THREATS TO THESE KILLER WHALES? 

According to the NOAA, the Southern Resident Killer Whales are up against three main threats:

Lack of prey Boat traffic and noise Chemical contaminants

Chinook salmon are the most nutrient-rich prey available for Southern Resident killer whales.

But, the salmon's population has plummeted in recent years, spelling disaster for the whales that rely on them.

Noise and overcrowding from boat traffic is considered to be one of the top threats to their existence, along with modern pollution and contaminants lingering in the water from chemicals banned decades ago

According to the NOAA, the main contaminants of concern are: PCBs (found in plastics, paints, rubber, electrical equipment), DDT (found in pesticides), and PBDEs (fire retardant chemicals found, for example, in mattresses, TVs,

read more from dailymail.....

PREV 'Among Us' developers cancel sequel plans, focus on their new/old smash hit
NEXT Amazon gets FAA approval to test US Prime Air delivery drones