After carrying her deceased baby for at least 17 days and 1,000 miles, an orca mother has shown signs of returning to normal.
She was seen Saturday with fellow members of her pod, chasing a school of salmon. She is no longer carrying her baby, and she looks healthy. “Her tour of grief is now over and her behavior is remarkably frisky,” according to a statement on the Center for Whale Research’s website…
Not a single orca born in the past three years has been known to survive, according to the Center for Whale Research. That’s why the fact that [the mother whale] recently gave birth was so exciting, if only for a brief moment. Her calf died just 30 minutes after it was first spotted by a whale watch operator on July 24.
I’m not very sentimental, but the whale story moved me. It spooked me. What if she was grieving not just for her baby, but for her entire species, and for all endangered species? What if her “tour of grief” was to remind humans that the huge amounts of toxins we generate are killing the oceans?
And don’t tell me it’s silly to attribute thoughts and feelings to non-human creatures. Whales feel deeply and are really smart. Humans, on the other hand, are too dumb or selfish to care that their behavior might be dooming not just whales but their own future generations.
Footnote: Something’s wrong, as Spirit noted almost a half-century ago: https://youtu.be/YsTK2LHZKPQ
Save the whales! Save the humans!