The Center for Whale Researchers confirmed that she was still seen pushing the now-deteriorating corpse of her newborn calf. She did demonstrate pretty good swimming ability.
When the water calmed, the team was also able to get a sample from her blow hole, which he said they believe will be very valuable to assess.
During the first three days of her calf's death, the orca swam with her pod but carried along her baby's almost 400 pound body.
Killer whales carry their dead calves for a week or so.
"We are ready to go", Hanson said. It is that simple. "I think she is grieving". But what is unknown is her condition going into her pregnancy, and after the loss of it.
J50 is breathing normally, taking deep dives and keeping up with her group, so respiratory disease is not as high of a concern, he said.
In June, researchers revealed that it was not uncommon for whales and dolphins to keep holding onto their dead offspring for days at a time. The situation is most certainly urgent, especially considering that this sick orca is one of the mere 75 individuals of her kind left on Earth.
Researchers spotted mothers seeming to grieve for other females in the group. They didn't observe whether J50 had been eating or not.
They said the practice of postmorten attentive behaviour (PAB) could be because individuals had failed "to recognise or accept that an offspring or companion has died".
"This photo will probably require a little interpretation: the spray of water and exhalation is coming from the top of J35's head, and the white tube-like structure draped over the foreground side of her head is the baby's intestine".More news: Arsenal must work to 'shorten the difference' with Manchester City - Unai Emery
Scientists are reporting progress in the race to help an emaciated and endangered West Coast killer whale in the waters of the Salish Sea.
The whales face nutritional stress over a lack of Chinook salmon as well as threats from toxic contamination and vessel noise and disturbances.
"Once they stop reproducing, they may still swim around here for 50 more years, but there will be no babies", Ken Balcomb, founder and chief scientist for the San Juan Island-based Center for Whale Research, told The New York Times. We saw one a few years back for a couple days.
"It is very possible that she has succumbed at this point and that we may never see her again", Teri Rowles, marine mammal health and stranding coordinator for National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Fisheries, told journalists during a press phone briefing Tuesday.
It's the first time such a treatment has been used on a wild killer whale, NOAA said.
They are anxious she isn't getting enough time to forage for food. But the whale did not smell as bad on Saturday.
"She was breathing very well; her respiratory rate was normal", he said.
It's sometimes hard to find causal relationships in the behavior of nonhuman animals, but there's something about grief: We know it - and we feel it - when we see it.
Several groups on Wednesday said the loss of the calf highlights the need for quick action. Her immediate family has been spotted helping her eat.
A statewide task force he formed has been meeting since May to come up with recommendations.