18 July 2012

Dolphin tries to save its dead baby

In this heart-breaking photo, an adult dolphin is seen carrying the body of its dead baby on its back. The scene was witnessed by tourists during a boat tour in the sea near Qinzhou in southern China's Guangxi Province. Wang Bin, who took the photo, said that during the three minutes they watched, the baby slid from its mother's back several times but each time the mother would dive again to pick up her baby and keep going. Picture: Quirky China News / Rex Features
The lesion on the baby's abdomen looks to me like a wound from a boat propellor.

Image and caption via The Telegraph.

11 comments:

  1. this post is breaking my heart.

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  2. This is too sad. And there's absolutely nothing I can do about it. Those poor animals.

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  3. Profoundly sad.. oh my.. staggering.. --A.

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  4. why can't cages be put around propellers like a fan has? It would help manatees as well.

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    1. Simple solution. It would save lots of heartache.

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    2. Yes they can and they are... in some jurisdictions.

      http://www.powerboatsafety.com/swimguard.php

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  5. Could she be trying to show the humans what their boat did?

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    1. mother is a mother, incident shows animal can be angel, human can be devilish

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  6. It goes to prove that what we call “human traits” (willingness to care for a sick or injured member of one’s species, hope that someone else’s death could be averted through one’s efforts, being unable to accept death at first when it happens… or simply being aware of one’s mortality) are not limited to humans.

    There’s a lengthier discussion about dolphins’ mourning habits here:

    http://news-science-news.blogspot.ca/2012/07/marinebiologyinternational_17.html

    “Researchers have observed dolphins carrying or pushing stillborn calves or those that die in their infancy. The dolphins show distress and can stay with the dead baby for several days.”

    “Researcher Joan Gonzalvo, of the Tethys Research Institute, observed a similar scene in 2006, where a mother was carrying its dead calf on its back. He said that the mother seemed unable to accept the death.

    A year later, he witnessed a pod of dolphins trying to help a dying calf - lifting it to the surface and swimming around the sick individual in a frantic and erratic manner.

    He told Mother Nature Network: 'My hypothesis is that the sick animal was kept company and given support, and when it died the group had done their job. In this case they had already assumed death would eventually come - they were prepared.' “

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  7. I just burst into tears here in my office. Poor, poor baby...and poor mother, too. :((((

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