Grieving dolphin carries its lost little one

The mother dropped her calf but circled back to pick it up, showing clear signs of maternal bonding and grieving.


NSFW    BAY OF ISLANDS, NEW ZEALAND — A grieving dolphin was spotted carrying its dead calf by New Zealand's Department of Conservation.

To the untrained eye, this image looks like a tender moment between a mama dolphin and her baby, but if only that were the case but the photo shows a grieving bottlenose dolphin carrying her dead baby calf.

The Department of Conservation spotted the dolphin in the waters around the Bay of Islands. They watched the mother drop her calf but circle back to pick it up, showing clear signs of maternal bonding and grieving.

They've also shared a photo and a caution on their Twitter account, asking people living in that area to give her the space she needs to grieve.

This kind of behavior is not uncommon among cetaceans. According to online science magazine Cosmos Magazine, dolphins account for 92.3 percent of grieving behaviors among cetaceans. The report shows that 75 percent of these grieving behaviors among dolphins were shown as female dolphins mourning their calves.

Grieving is common in the animal kingdom. Orcas are also known to carry their dead infants and elephants visit the body of a deceased member of their community days after its death and even scatter their bones
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