Devastated dolphin mourns for her dead baby by carrying it on her back while swimming

Dolphins are one of the most highly intelligent of all mammals and share with humans a complex set of emotions. Recently a touching and beautiful display of compassion from a bereaved mother dolphin was witnessed by an experienced captain of a tourist boat off the coast of Dana Point, California. He was stunned by what he saw.

Captain Dave Anderson was overwhelmed by the compassion he witnessed from a bereaved mother dolphin while he was taking his paying customers on a sight-seeing trip on Tuesday. Never in his 20-years at sea had he witnessed anything like this.

Instead of showing his passengers a dolphin stampede of an up-close encounter with a whale, Captain Dave Anderson encountered a dolphin carrying her dead calf on her dorsal fin through the waves. He and his customers observed the sad funeral procession from the grieving mother and surrounding dolphins.

What they saw was the deceased baby dolphin wrapped around the dorsal fin of it's mother as it was carried along in the sea off the coast of California. The captain wrote on his YouTube channel, "In my nearly twenty years on the water whale watching I have never seen this behavior. Nor have I ever seen anything quite as moving as this mother who refuses to let go of her poor calf."

'Did mom start off helping her weak, sick offspring swim to the surface to breathe for days till the tiny dolphin died? When will she give up on her calf? Will she continue carrying her deceased on her back until the carcass begins to disintegrate?"

One of the passengers named Tony Green, shared similar thoughts that day. "The last thing I expected to see today was a funeral procession. It was pretty profound for me to think about ... emotions that animals feel."

Watch the video below to see what they saw that day.


Responses to "Touching Funeral Procession for Baby Dolphin (Video)"

  1. Anonymous says:

    It goes to show that our sea creature friends also have emotions. I saddens my heart that the Mother dolphin will carry her baby until she can no longer do so.
    We know so little about the sea and the creatures that live there. And yet, the Navy would hold manuviers by dropping deapth carges to see what reaction they would get from our sea friends. Many of those creatures use sonar to communicate to each other and the Navy's plan is to deaffen them. There has to be another way.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Heartbreaking - I felt the pain as though it was mine.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Heartbreaking. Such beautiful warm creatures. Poor, poor mum made me cry

  4. Anonymous says:

    i agree it's heartbreaking and it made me very sad :(

  5. Unknown says:

    R.I.P. Baby. :'( Your fins have turned to Angel Wings. I grieve with the Mother very heartbreaking...the LOVE OF A MOTHER NEVER DIES....So Human, So loving..Bless You All, All of You Beautiful Creatures in the Ocean...May You Be Safe, May You Be Avoided By Humans That Have Wronged You in Every Way... <3

  6. Anonymous says:

    That we need specialists to tell us animals have feelings is pure stupidity. If mammals didn't feel anything for their little ones, they wouldn't care for them, forget them, not defend them and not recognize their own. We judge animals with our own limited senses. What saddens me is to see tourists way too close to these animals. I wish the tour organizers would show A LOT OF RESPECT for wales and dolphins, and that way teach people NOT to feed them or not to APPROACH them or speak or shout with loud voices.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Very sad to watch but amazing how they grieve like we do.

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