When humans experience grief, we often turn to music to express deep emotions of loss and sorrow. Many of us are feeling a profound sense of grief and loss with the recent death of the baby orca born by mother orca J35 (named Tahlequah by the Whale Museum).  Beyond the tragedy of the death of this critically endangered animal, we are collectively witnessing the power of the connection between mother and baby, as Tahlequah carries her baby’s body with her pod, journeying hundreds of miles through the Salish Sea. Today is the eighth day that the orca mother and her pod have traveled carrying the baby’s corpse.

Seattle musician Tai Shan gives voice to the profound relationship evidenced in the behavior of the orcas and the grief felt in response to the loss of the baby orca, by creating music for the mother and baby. Tai Shan contacted ESC to share her song, saying about the mother orca, ‘How tired she must be, how much grief and confusion. Her plight had me up at 1am last night writing her a lullaby.’

People around the globe are watching Tahlequah journey with the corpse of her baby and wondering how to offer action to prevent these heartbreaking events from happening again. We invite you to participate in supporting the recovery of the Southern Resident orca, turning grief into action. Please sign this petition to Governor Jay Inslee today. Our orcas need your voice now more than ever.

To learn more about Tai Shan’s music, go to https://taishanmusic.com/home.

To share your art, music, and ideas for creative actions in support of the Southern Resident orca, contact Jeanne Dodds Creative Engagement Director jdodds at endangered.org.

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3 comments on “The heartbreaking story of Tahlequah (J35)

  1. I’m so sorry for ur loss, some humans can be cruel. I believe that a large number of us care. We want u to b able to continue on. Humans should quit breeding like rats, our planet is overwhelmed w the number of humans trying to fee them, house them. We take up to much, and don’t care

  2. I am so sorry for your loss Tahlequah. As a mother I am grieving with you. My heart aches. My heartfelt prayers go to you and your beloved Baby.

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