orca

What the Loss of 3 Southern Resident Killer Whales Means

What the Loss of 3 Southern Resident Killer Whales Means

In early August, three Southern Resident killer whales were declared dead by the Center for Whale Research. That brings the population down to just 73. Each of the dead whales are from separate Southern Resident pods. 

“There is nothing good about losing three animals in a population that was numbered at 76,” said SeaDoc Science Director Joe Gaydos. “In no way can I find a silver lining to this news.”

Is Southern Resident Killer Whale J35 really mourning?

Is Southern Resident Killer Whale J35 really mourning?

By Joe Gaydos. For more than a week, a female Southern Resident Killer Whale has been carrying her dead calf around the Salish Sea.

J35, the 20-year-old orca also known as Tahlequah, gave birth on July 24th, but the baby girl died just a short time later. Since then, people around the world have watched as this young mother has appeared to grieve.

Primates, including Gelada baboons, Japanese macaques, chimpanzees and mountain gorillas have been shown to carry around dead babies even though, as one researcher commented, it "is a waste of energy and seems to be of no benefit to the mother."