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Video shows how dolphins experience grief after loss of calf

The videographer said: "It was really heartbreaking and really painful to watch this."

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By Leo Black via SWNS

This is the heartbreaking moment a mother dolphin was seen carrying her deceased calf on her back in the middle of the Mediterranean sea.

The tragic and rare moment was captured by Margarita Samsonova, 29, an environmental content creator.

Margarita, who lives in Lisbon, Potugal, believes this is the only time this behavior has been witnessed in Europe and represented an incredible insight into animals experiencing grief.

Margarita studied Zoology at Oxford Brookes University and captured the moment while accompanying a research team.

The group, led by the researchers from AIMM, a marine research association from Portugal, was on an expedition off the coast of Albufeira.

The NGO explained on their website: "We witnessed a dolphin behavior, very rare for this region and got it on camera."

They had been out on the water for approximately five hours and were on their way back to port when they saw the pod.

"It was very mixed emotions," Margarita recalled.

"Instantly, I cried, it was really heartbreaking and really painful to watch this.

"At the same time it was really exciting, because this was something new, we realized that this was something that had never been documented before."

Margarita explained that they were drawn to the pod of approximately 25 dolphins due to the strange behaviors that they were demonstrating.

"The dolphins were behaving very unusually, they were jumping higher than normal and making very strange vocalizations."

"Then we noticed a mother with a calf, and the calf was dead, and it was clear that she was trying to bring the baby to the surface."

"It really seemed like a moment of grief that was expressed both by the mother and other dolphins."

Margarita explained that it is uncertain what this behavior might mean.

However, she said that the head of the research team speculated that it shows a true expression of grief from he mother.

The behavior seen in the video continued for some days, saying as the mother was observed doing the same for several days after.

Numerous other sightings of the same behavior were reported up to more than ten days after the initial sighting.

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