Grieving Dolphin Carries Her Dying Baby After Getting Caught Up In Crab Net
The heartbreaking image of Moon the dolphin was shared by Parks and Wildlife, Western Australia on its Facebook page.
It's believed the dolphin calf tragically and unnecessarily died after getting caught up in a crab net.
In the Facebook post, the Perth-based wildlife organisation said: "A sad outcome for one of the Swan Canning Riverpark's new dolphin calves.
"Mother Moon was swimming alongside the calf when the pair was located by the Parks and Wildlife Service on Monday after being reported by a member of the public.
"The dead calf has since been freed from the crab pot, but remains in the water with the mother dolphin as she grieves.
"Dolphins are highly intelligent creatures and are known to stay with their young for a period of time following a death."
The department reassured its followers that they would continue to monitor the pair and remove the baby "when appropriate to do so".
Social-media users were heartbroken by the harrowing images.
One commented: "Sadness caused by carelessness of people."
Another said: "Tragic loss of this baby! Ashamed that a fellow human caused this cruel death because they were too lazy to properly remove their gear from the river. Hope something is done to prevent another tragedy."
A third simply commented: "So sad and so preventable".
The organisation urged the public "to safely dispose of all fishing lines and ropes and report any tangled wildlife immediately".
While it's impossible to definitively prove that dolphins suffer grief like humans, zoological research from 2018 suggests that animals with larger, more complex brains that live in communities (like dolphins), do in fact display 'grief-like behaviour'.
Featured Image Credit: Facebook