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Killer whale pushing dead calf gets support from her pod

A killer whale that has been pushing the body of her newborn calf since it died last week is getting help from members of her pod, including her son who is bringing her food.

Researchers and whale watchers have spotted the orca known as J35 holding the calf above the water since July 24 as other members of the southern resident pod hover nearby.

READ MORE: Endangered killer whale dies off B.C. coast

RELATED: A new addition to J pod of orca whales

Ken Balcomb, the senior whale scientist at Center For Whale Research in Washington state, says despite concerns the mother’s state of grief is affecting her health, the animal appears in good condition.

He says it will take at least one month for the whale to show signs of deteriorating health, and at this time it appears her son is supplying food for the mother.

Balcomb says it’s unclear if the whale is still pushing her calf because the pod hasn’t been seen since Monday night.

He says the death of the calf last month is another sad chapter in the ongoing struggle for survival facing the remaining 75 endangered southern resident whales.

The Canadian Press

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