Mom Dolphin Grieves Lost Baby Like Any Momma Would (VIDEO)

Heartbreaking 6

I'm one of those people who believes that animals have a range of emotions similar to those that people do. Why would we be so arrogant as to believe that every other creature on the planet is just some sort of automated biologically programmed robot that has no emotion while we, HUMANS, are the only ones who can FEEL? Where does this arrogance come from? Because animals can't speak a language that we comprehend as language? Yeah, well, can YOU speak dolphin? Oh, and by the way, if your baby dies, do you carry it on your back for days? Probably not. But that's what dolphin mothers do. And don't tell me that doesn't mean she's grieving.

One boat captain happened to catch a rare glimpse of this dolphin grieving process while out whale watching with tourists in Dana Point, California.

"Guys, I can tell what she's got, she's got a calf on her back there," announces Capt. Dave Anderson to his whale watchers. "Awwww," you can hear them moan.

"She's mourning," Dave goes on to explain. "It's unsure how long she'll do that, I know with primates sometimes they do it for several days. I don't know if she'll be able to handle that, that's exhausting."

Awww. Poor thing. I absolutely believe she felt the loss of her baby. People who think that humans are the only animals who feel love and loss, well, I feel sad for them. They must be incredibly hard-hearted people. We are part of the animal kingdom, after all.

But it wasn't just the mom who was mourning -- there was a pod of dolphins around her, also sharing the loss of the young calf.

The captain says he's been on the sea for 20 years but never witnessed a dolphin carrying her dead young. He says:

I ever seen anything quite as moving as this mother who refuses to let go of her poor calf. Did mom start off helping her weak, sick offspring swim to the surface to breathe for days till the tiny dolphin died? When will she give up on her calf? Will she continue carrying her deceased on her back until the carcass begins to disintegrate? 

I don't know the answers to those questions, but I have no doubt that like any mother, she felt the loss of her baby.

Do you believe animals have emotions?


Image via YouTube

animals, in the news

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nonmember avatar NoWay

Animals certainly have emotions. Anyone with a pet should be able to tell you that.

Nurse... Nursekelly1980

Awww :( I do believe animals feel. Poor mama

mande... manderspanders

This might be the most compassionate, nonjudgmental article ever written by Kiri.


Was there a point to the video, because it's just whale watchers...  Not sure how you meant that to tie into your post.

CLM3345 CLM3345

I once watched a documentary on elephants and a momma carried her baby until it had decomposed too much to carry then sat by the skeleton for days. Certainley they also feel heartbreak at the loss of their babies. 

Katy Khan

so sad!

Judith K Littles

It is interesting that this story comes immediately after the story where the Planned Parenthood lobbyist is arguing for the right of human "mothers" to allow their babies, who a born during an abortion procedure to be killed. It seems that mother dolpins may have "feelings" than  many human mothers in the U.S.

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