Dolphin seen carrying around another dead dolphin

Dolphin carrying dead dolphin
By: Moses Gold

(Scroll down for video) It seems like from recent photographs, that dolphins have enough brains to understand to mourn a recent loss.

It is a moving mourning ritual that is rarely seen and even more rarely captured on camera.

Battling rough seas, a dolphin carries her baby that died on his final journey.

While a boat full of tourists watched the wrenching scene, the baby dolphin slipped off the back of his mother five times while fighting the current.

But each time, the mother snatched it from the waves and continued his journey along.
The dolphin is thought to move her young child away from the coast to put her to rest in deeper water. A deep cut, about a foot long, was visible through the belly of the calf.

It is possible that the baby was killed by the propeller of a boat perhaps even one of the many who take visitors on day trips.

The photos were taken by tourists in the Chinese region of Guangxi Zhuang, which is known for its dolphin-watching tours.

In the past, researchers have observed dolphins carrying or pushing calves born dead or died in infancy.

Sometimes they stay with the dead baby for days. Mourning rituals are rare in the animal kingdom, but have also been observed in whales, elephants, chimpanzees and gorillas.

While experts are reluctant to attribute human emotions to animals, the behavior seems to indicate that dolphins have some awareness of mortality and may even contemplate their eventual death.

The researcher Joan Gonzalvo, from the Tethys Research Institute in Italy, was at a similar scene of a mother carrying her baby dead on the back. The researcher said it appeared that the mother seemed unable to accept death.

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