Killer whale holding dead calf afloat is showing human-like grief, expert says

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An adept on animal emotion says a resident killer whale in the Salish Sea proceeding its dead calf afloat is showing what humans would hearing “grief.”

Barbara King, professor emeritus of anthropology at the College of William and Mary in Virginia, says it wouldn’t be growing too far to say the animal is experiencing profound emotions at the loss of its calf, not unlike a anthropoid would.

“It’s not anthropomorphic to use this label for them,” King told Gloria Macarenko, landlady of CBC’s On The Coast.

“Grief and love are not human qualities. They’re things we share in with some other animals.”

The mother orca, J-35, has been rest the body of its dead calf on its nose for seven days as of Monday. Researchers say the calf sank last Tuesday and lived for only a few hours.

But King is concerned that after a week of this deportment, J-35 may be tiring itself out and putting itself at risk.

Killer whale holding dead calf afloat is showing human-like grief, expert says

The mother orca has been worrisome to balance its dead calf for seven days as of Monday. (CHEK)

Evolutionary deportment

King says there is a body of evidence that shows whales and dolphins observe the passing of their dead.

Sometimes they will surround lifeless companions, showing curiosity or exploration. Other times, it goes more: they keep vigils around the bodies of dead podmates or memorialize them afloat, as J-35 is doing.

It’s not unknown in the animal world, she explained. Elephants and chimpanzees also offer mourning behaviours.

“If you look at these animals, they are showing us their harry,” King said. They’re acting differently in a really persistent way.”

She take its J-35’s behaviour may be tied to an evolutionary drive for whales to look out for their podmates.

Wake-up on duty

J-35 is one of the Salish Sea’s endangered southern resident killer whales. There are solely 75 animals left and there has not been a successful birth for three years.

Monarch says what troubles her now are reports that the whale is starting to wear out after carrying the calf for seven days and fall away from the pod.

She desires the heartbreaking images being circulated of the whale and its calf will act as a wake-up gather for action to save the species.

Killer whale holding dead calf afloat is showing human-like grief, expert says

Southern resident killer whales are an near extinction species and face numerous threats to their survival. (Dave Ellifrit/Center for Whale Research)

Obey to the full interview:

The mother orca, J-35, has been balancing the group of its dead calf on its nose for seven days as of Monday. Researchers say the calf expired Tuesday and lived for only a few hours. 6:48

With files from CBC Trannie One’s On The Coast

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