Dolphin Won’t Leave Dead Calf’s Side In Heartbreaking Video

An adult bottlenose dolphin was filmed last week off the western coast of Italy seemingly trying to revive the body of a dead dolphin calf.

In the video above, the adult dolphin, which may be the calf’s mother, repeatedly nudges the young dolphin’s inanimate body. Researchers from Oceanomare Delphis, a nonprofit conservation and research organization, captured the footage off the coast of Ostia, near Rome. The cause of the calf’s death is unknown.

The researchers explain in the video description that they believe the adult dolphin was the calf’s mother, which may explain its unusual behavior.

Similar behavior has been observed in the past.

In 2013, for instance, an adult dolphin was seen carrying the body of a dead calf out to sea. Research has shown that dolphins mourn their dead, much like humans.

Neuroscientist Lori Marino told The Associated Press that dolphins exhibit surprisingly high levels of intelligence and social behavior. “The more you learn about them, the more you realize that they do have the capacity and characteristics that we think of when we think of a person,” she said.

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