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  1. ITV Report

Orca mother carries dead calf on her forehead for a week

The baby killer whale died soon after being born (Michael Weiss/Center for Whale Research/AP)

An endangered orca that spends time in Pacific north-west waters is still carrying the corpse of her calf one week after it died.

Experts at the Whale Museum on San Juan Island have been monitoring the 20-year-old whale, known as J35, since her calf died shortly after birth last Tuesday.

For days now, the whale has been balancing the dead calf on her forehead or pushing it to the surface of the water.

There are only 75 of the animals remaining in the pod Credit: David Ellifrit/Center for Whale Research via AP

Jenny Atkinson, the museum’s executive director, said the orca was still carrying her dead calf on Monday afternoon.

Ms Atkinson says the orca and her pod are going through “a deep grieving process”.

The calf was the first in three years to be born to the dwindling population of endangered southern resident killer whales. There are only 75 of the mammals left.