Devastated mommy dolphin won’t let go of her little baby’s body


Michael McCarthy was kayaking through the Intracoastal Stream close to St. Petersburg, Florida, when he detected the natural blaze of silver in the water in front of him.

She turned out to be holding a small, limp body of a dolphin that was swimming nearby. McCarthy thought at first that the dolphin had just eaten her, but as he watched, a devastating scene unfolded.

McCarthy, the owner of the See Through Canoe Company, said, “When I first noticed the dolphin, it took me a minute to accept what I was seeing.”

It quickly became clear that it was a dead calf, and at first I thought it might be a large red fish or something like that.

“McCarthy grabbed his camera and started filming the funeral procession of the mother dolphin. In a sad dance, she caressed her calf’s body by nuzzling it.

Fortunately, she wasn’t alone. In what appeared to be an effort to shield and comfort his friend, another dolphin swam alongside her.

“With the exception of one dolphin that stayed with the mother the entire time,” McCarthy stated, “other dolphins joined her for short distances as the mother made her way north through the Intracoastal Waterway.”

McCarthy has witnessed too many collisions with motorboats, and it appeared that the calf was one of them. According to McCarthy, the calf’s scar patterns suggest that it was most likely struck by a boat propeller.

Sadly, I am very familiar with the appearance of propeller wounds because I have spent the majority of my life on the water and with dolphins and manatees.

In an effort to “help raise awareness to a problem I see all the time,” as McCarthy noted, this made him even more determined to document the dolphin’s grief.

According to McCarthy, boaters frequently believe that dolphins are “too fast to get hit,” but this is simply not the case.

Because they cannot swim as quickly and must surface much more frequently for air, the calves are even more vulnerable.

Studies done in the past have shown that cetaceans like dolphins and whales show signs of grief, especially when moms are sad about their dead calves.

Over 76,000 people have viewed the video that McCarthy shared last week on Twitter. McCarthy tweeted, “It was really hard to watch.”

That picture will be latched onto my subconscious mind for some time.”