Heartbroken Mother Dolphin Won’t Let Go of Her Baby’s Body

Michael McCarthy was canoeing the Intracoastal Waterway near St. Petersburg, Florida when he saw a familiar silver flash in the water. A dolphin was swimming nearby and appeared to be holding a small, lifeless carcass.

Mr McCarthy at first thought the dolphin had simply grabbed his dinner, but as he watched a heartbreaking scene unfolded before him.
When I first saw the dolphin, it took me a minute to get used to what I was seeing,” said McCarthy, owner of See Through Canoe. “I wanted to think it was a big red fin or something, but it soon became clear that it was a dead calf.”
McCarthy pulled out his camera and began filming the mother dolphin’s funeral procession. She hugged the calf’s body and stroked it in a dance of grief.

Fortunately, she was not alone. Other dolphins swim around her, as if trying to protect and comfort their friend. “As the mother dolphin headed north into the Intracoastal Waterway, the other dolphins followed her for a short distance and then continued on,” McCarthy said, “with the exception of one dolphin. , who stayed with his mother.”
The dolphin appeared to have been the victim of a collision with a speedboat – which McCarthy witnessed on numerous occasions. McCarthy said: “Judging by the scar on his calf, he could have been hit by the boat’s propeller.” I’ve spent most of my life in the water, spending a lot of time around manatees and dolphins, so unfortunately I’m very familiar with the appearance of propeller injuries.”

This made McCarthy even more determined to film the distressed dolphins to “help raise awareness of the issues we’ve seen,” he said. Previous studies have shown that cetaceans — dolphins and whales — exhibit grieving behavior, including mothers mourning their dead calves. Ms McCarthy posted the video on Twitter last week, and it has since been viewed more than 76,000 times. Very hard to watch,” McCarthy wrote. This image will stay in my mind for a while.

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