A mother dolphin mourns the death of her baby calf by carrying it around on her back for days. This rare video was captured in Sanniang Bay of Qinzhou City in Southern China and shown on the Today Show Wednesday. The mother dolphin first appeared to be helping the baby, but when the tourist boat got closer it was apparent that the calf was dead.
The baby dolphin was pink, which indicated it was a newborn and it had a cut, about a foot long, across its belly area. The cut suggested the baby dolphin met its demise from a boat propeller. Fishermen in the area were very touched by the sight of the mother dolphin’s plight, according to the Independent Online.
The mother dolphin is thought to be moving the baby to deeper water away from shore for its burial at sea. Once out far enough, the mother dolphin will lay her baby to rest in the deep water.
According to AOL Travel, the scene was heartbreaking for the tourists to watch. This ritual could go on for days. Dolphins have been seen carrying the dead or sick babies on their back or pushing them along in the water.
Scientists who study these mammals recently reported that not only do the dolphins grieve, but they are also aware of their own mortality. Similar behavior in dolphins has been documented by Italian scientists since 2007.
This mother dolphin carried the calf day and night, holding the baby dolphin above the pounding waves. When the calf would fall off the mother’s back periodically, the mother would retrieve it instantly.
Awww animals are just like us
Reference: Independent Online, AOL Travel