It is always painful to witness an animal dying due to the terrible actions of humans. Many species of wildlife are on the edge of extinction due to human greed and apathy, resulting in biodiversity loss. Many may be aware of the distress caused to land animals when their native habitat is destroyed and the food chain is disrupted. However, they are not the only victims of humanity since marine life also faces grave dangers.
Michael McCarthy encountered a frightening scenario while canoeing in the Intracoastal Waterway near St. Petersburg, Florida. On the vast ocean, he observed the usual flash of silver on the body of a dolphin. Closer examination revealed that the animal was holding a little fish.
Initially, he believed that the dolphin was enjoying her meal, but he soon recognized that a horrifying condition existed.
“It took me a minute to accept what I was seeing when I first spotted the dolphin,” McCarthy, the See Through Canoe Company owner, shared. “I wanted to believe it was a large redfish or something, but it quickly became apparent that it was a dead calf.”
The man quickly got out his camera and began filming the tragic burial. In a dance of mourning, the mother dolphin nuzzled and delicately hugged her dead calf’s body. McCarthy observed several dolphins accompanying her during the process of protecting and comforting their companion. “As the mother made her way north through the Intracoastal Waterway, other dolphins joined her for short distances and then went on their way,” McCarthy said, “except for one dolphin that stayed with the mother the whole time.”
Scientists have noted that cetaceans, such as dolphins and whales, exhibit grief, particularly moms who have lost their young.
According to McCarthy, the calf has died in a collision with a speedboat, a common occurrence at sea. McCarthy remarked that, based on the scar patterns on the calf, it was presumably struck by a boat propeller.
McCarthy remarked that, based on the scar patterns on the calf, it was presumably struck by a boat propeller.
People falsely assume that dolphins are “too fast to hit,” yet the reality is entirely different. McCarthy stated, “The calves are even more vulnerable because they can’t swim as fast and have to surface much more frequently for air,” McCarthy stated, “The calves are even more vulnerable because they can’t swim as fast and have to surface much more frequently for air,”
Mother #dolphin not ready to let go of her dead calf and pushing it through the intracoastal waterway.
It’s hard to say for sure without examination, but the calf may have been hit by a boat. Please don’t assume that because #dolphins are fast that you won’t hit them. #sad pic.twitter.com/Le2MAwvPIB
— See Through Canoe (@SeeThroughCanoe) June 3, 2019
Because of this, the man was motivated to capture the dolphin’s misery and uploaded the video on social media to “help raise awareness to a problem I see all the time.” His post on Twitter has earned over 76,000 views and many comments from netizens. “It was really hard to watch,” McCarthy captioned his Tweet. “That image is going to be stuck in my head for a while.”