Tourists in southern China spotted a mother dolphin carrying her dead calf on her back in what is now being called dolphin mourning, NTDTV reported. The video was posted on YouTube on Wednesday and has already yielded more than 85,000 views.
The mother dolphin was filmed by a tourist vessel carrying her calf in Sanniang Bay off Qinzhou City on July 8. It seemed the mother was trying to keep her calf afloat. It wasn't until the boat got close that the tourists realized that the baby calf was dead, and had been for days.
The calf had long cuts across its belly, and it's thought that a boat propeller is to blame for the gashes. Tourists normally expect to see dolphins happily swimming in southern Chinese waters, but on July 8 tourists watched a dolphin mourning its calf.
A fisherman identified as Mr. Su said: The little dolphin was dead for two or three days, but its mother still stayed with it and carried it day and night, which has touched all of us and the tourists. Just like human beings, dolphins also have feelings. A mother's love is noble and moving.
Aside from humans, mourning has also been observed in elephants. Similar behavior in mother dolphins, however, was first documented by an Italian scientist in 2007 according to NTDTV.
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After viewing several instances of dolphins mourning their deceased pod members, Scientists are beginning to believe that not only do dolphins grieve, but they are aware of their own mortality, NTDTV reported.
Ekibosna wrote, humans are worse than? animals... It is the most liked comment by YouTube users.
The YouTube video started a debate among users, with some insinuating that the dolphin calf was dumb for swimming close to the propeller.
Mebbledoni wrote, You want to know something that's not so intelligent? You. how sick are you? Its a BABY. wish it was people like you that got hurt rather than these innocent animals. Do you think this dolphin BABY purposely swam into a propellor? Emphasising on the word BABY, as even human babies do not know what they're doing at times. Grow up and? find some thing better to do than wasting your time insulting murdered animals. Jesus.
Mebbledoni was responding to a comment by Kamikaze Gorilla, which has since been removed.
Neoarcadezr got the feeling tha something evil was to blame, a long cut across the belly ..i have a feeling like? someone evil did that on purpose ..its just a strong feeling
The video has also been shared on MSN's home page, and commenters wrote that their hearts were broken by the video.
Alzebra22 posted, This just broke me heart! :[