Orca mother who carried her dead calf for weeks is pregnant again, researchers reveal

The orca spent 17 days pushing the decomposing calf in the waters of the Pacific Northwest in 2018

Tahlequah, the grieving killer whale who made global headlines in 2018 when she carried her dead calf for more than two weeks, is pregnant again, according to researchers.

The endangered orca, also known as J35, spent 17 days pushing the decomposing calf in the waters of the Pacific Northwest in 2018. The Southern Resident killer whale towed the calf for more than 1,000 miles, according to researchers, in what was dubbed Tahlequah’s “tour of grief.”

ORCA THAT CARRIED DEAD, DECOMPOSING CALF FOR WEEKS NOW RETURNS TO FUN WITH FRIENDS

The mourning mother whale carried her dead calf for over two weeks, which scientists said is part of her grieving - file photo.

The mourning mother whale carried her dead calf for over two weeks, which scientists said is part of her grieving - file photo. (David Ellifrit/Center for Whale Research via AP)

“Tahlequah, J35, is pregnant again! Every boater can help these vulnerable whales by giving the extra space,” tweeted marine conservation group SR3 on Monday.

In a blog posted on Sunday, SR3 explained that pregnant whales have been spotted among the Southern Resident killer whales. The research is based on aerial photos collected by Dr. Holly Fearnbach of SR3 and Dr. John Durban of Southall Environmental Associates. SR3’s blog post also contained aerial shots of another pregnant killer whale, L72.

MOURNING ORCA MOTHER STILL CARRYING DEAD CALF MORE THAN TWO WEEKS LATER ON 'TOUR OF GRIEF'

“With such a small population (Center for Whale Research shows the population at 73 whales), every successful birth is hugely important for recovery,” explained SR3 in its blog post.

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The Marine Mammal Commission notes that in June 2019 the population of Southern Resident killer whales was 76 in June 2019, its lowest point in 34 years.

Fox News’ Madeline Fish, Travis Fedschun and the Associated Press contributed to this article.

Follow James Rogers on Twitter @jamesjrogers