For 17 days Tahlequah, J35, carried her dead calf upon her head mourning its half-hour long life. After more than two weeks of grief, she let go and rejoined her pod.
At Otis Perkins County Park on Lopez, Eastsound Waterfront Park on Orcas, Shaw County Park on Shaw and Lime Kiln State Park on San Juan, sympathetic community members gathered to join in solidarity with Tahlequah on Sunday, Aug. 26. Concerned citizens held a wake for the lost calf and a vigil for the remaining orcas of the Southern resident killer whale pods. At noon, everyone stood in silent reflection for 17 minutes, a minute for every day that Tahlequah carried her deceased calf.