Dolphin's Heartbreaking Mourning Ritual Over Baby Captured On Film

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Tourists on a dolphin-watching boat witnessed a rare and tragic exhibition of animal emotion. According to the Daily Mail U.K., passengers on small tour boat in China's Guangxi Zhuang region saw a dolphin carrying her deceased young out to sea.

This mourning ritual is rarely seen and hardly ever captured on film. Onlookers said that the dolphin repeatedly lifted its head, carrying the child above the water as if to help the baby breathe. The mammal was also seen continually moving out to deeper water.

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After examining photos taken by the tourists, researchers spotted a gash on the infant's belly, leading them to believe the newborn died due to an injury from a boat propeller. Scientists say that this is not the first time they have seen a dolphin exhibit mourning behavior. On several other occasions the animal has been spotted showing distress over the death of a newborn, even staying with the baby for several days.

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While experts can't speak conclusively, they believe that this ritual shows that dolphins have some understanding of mortality and may even contemplate their own death.

Dolphins are already known as highly intelligent animals. Researchers have documented dolphins using language, tools, teamwork and exhibiting a social culture. This sad display is just further evidence for experts that dolphins are smarter and deeper animals than we may have expected.

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You know the "people" that took the photos are the jerks that killed the baby. Poor sweet Mama is devastated. When will people learn to stay away from thw wild life. The world is not a petting zoo.

August 02 2013 at 8:14 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Martha Merson

I wonder how that poor baby died.. It has a large gash across it's abdomen.. Perhaps one of those sightseeing boats hit it and sliced it's stomach open with the propeller. People certainly didn't need to photograph this to know that Dolphins mourn their babies just as we do. They are the human's of the sea and have every emotion we humans have.

August 04 2012 at 7:07 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

There is no doubt that it is a sad photo. The dolphin is either trying to help the baby or is mourning the baby either way it's sad. I am a mother and I believe a mothers worst fear is something happening to her baby. I believe nature or God has in stilled this in all mothers no matter what species. This picture is a clear example of that idea. Anyone who has lived with dogs or cats will tell you that they do have feelings and emotions.

July 23 2012 at 8:49 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

It's a well known fact that Dolphins are Catholic. Following the mothers display, there will be a viewing, wake, mass and the burial. At sea of course.

July 23 2012 at 2:57 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

i'm tearing up just to see this helpless mother carrying her infant to who knows where,showing onlookers as if to say this is what boaters do to us.

July 20 2012 at 12:05 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

i'm tearing up just looking at the mother carrying her infant baby, saying someone help me!!!!

July 20 2012 at 12:01 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
José Maertens

Only humans are NOT aware. Sure, animals has awareness but of their world, only slight different as we think we do but we don't use awereness mostly. What kind of animals has poisson, destroy, warming up, kill for greed, ...? One kind of animal humans! Who is unaware 2 destroy our beautifull world .. HUMANS!
BTW isn't that dolphin killed by fishersman wire? That happend all the time with sea animals. That's because we unaware eat them!

July 20 2012 at 1:40 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

just so awful ! i feel so bad for that poor mother ! im tearing up just looking at the pics !

July 19 2012 at 7:30 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

It looks like she is hoping someone will help her.

July 19 2012 at 6:57 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Deanne Fabro

This is so sad. The mom dolphin is clearly showing grief. I also think she is lifting the baby up to the world to show that something happened to her baby. She may not know why, but she wants the world to see.

July 18 2012 at 4:17 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
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