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Orcas pass around calf body in a mourning ritual for a week after her death, report says

In this photo taken Tuesday, July 24, 2018, provided by the Center for Whale Research, a baby orca being pushed by her mother after the birth of the canadian coast near Victoria, British Columbia.

(AP)

A pod of endangered killer whales, coming from the Pacific Northwest waters, has been seen floating the body of a dead calf that died more than a week ago.

J35, a 20-year-old whale, gave birth to the first baby killer whale in three years, but the calf died shortly after.

“The baby was newborn, it had no mud. It continued to sink, and the mother would raise it from the surface,” said Ken Balcomb, a senior researcher at the Center for Whale Research on San Juan Island, Washington State.

Since the death of last Tuesday, the mother is seen carrying the corpse of her dead calf on her forehead, pushing it to the surface of the water.

But about a week later, Jenny Atkinson, executive director of the Whale Museum on San Juan Island, said that the experts now see that the other members of the pod, “the sharing of the responsibility for the care of this calf,” CBC radio reported.

“They seem to be taking turns.”

Atkinson told The Associated Press earlier that the pod is the experience of a “deep state of mourning.”

While at least seven species in seven geographical regions of three oceans have been documented wearing the body of their dead young scientist Deborah Giles with the University Of Washington, Center Of Conservation Biology said that grieving for more than 24 hours is a rare occurrence.

The dwindling population of endangered southern resident orcas has dropped to 75.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Paulina Dedaj is a writer/ reporter for Fox News. Follow her on Twitter @PaulinaDedaj.

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