Dying mother dolphin struggles to save baby in Mauritius lagoon after oil spill

By Katharine Houreld NAIROBI (Reuters) - The baby dolphin rolled over on its side, floating on the surface. Its mother repeatedly nudged its head above the oily waves in a lagoon in Mauritius, where environmentalists are demanding an investigation into the deaths of dozens of dolphins following an oil spill.

Reuters August 29, 2020 00:11:22 IST
Dying mother dolphin struggles to save baby in Mauritius lagoon after oil spill

Dying mother dolphin struggles to save baby in Mauritius lagoon after oil spill

By Katharine Houreld

NAIROBI (Reuters) - The baby dolphin rolled over on its side, floating on the surface. Its mother repeatedly nudged its head above the oily waves in a lagoon in Mauritius, where environmentalists are demanding an investigation into the deaths of dozens of dolphins following an oil spill.

The footage - obtained by Reuters from a fisherman who tried to help rescue the dolphins - showed the last desperate moments of the mother and her calf before they both died.

At least 40 dolphins have been found dead in Mauritius - 38 who washed ashore, as well as the mother and her baby - since Monday, when a Japanese ship was scuttled after running aground in July and leaking oil. [L8N2FU3IU]

The death toll may rise: Yasfeen Heenaye, the 31-year-old fisherman who filmed the mother and baby, said he saw nearly 200 dolphins inside the reef Friday morning, 25-30 of them dead.

"Some were injured and some were just floating," Heenaye said. Fishermen were trying to herd the dolphins out of the lagoon into the open seas.

"Inside the reef there is oil spill on the water - if they stay inside maybe all of them will die - but if they go outside maybe they will survive. We were trying to push the dolphins outside the reef, making noise in the boat to make the dolphins go outside the reef," he said.

"There was a mother and her baby. ...He was very tired, he didn't swim well. But the mum stayed alongside him, she didn't leave her baby to go with the group. All the way she stayed with him. She was trying to protect him ...to push the baby to get back with the group."

But the baby wallowed on its side and died in front of them, floating on the waves, he said.

"When I was seeing this, there was tears in my eyes. I am a parent of a little daughter, it is very difficult for me to see the mother struggle and try her best to save her baby," Heenaye said.

A short while later, the mother had convulsions and died too, said another witness, Reuben Pillay.

(Editing by Peter Graff)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Updated Date:

TAGS:

also read

Guinea president 'captured', govt dissolved, claim army putschists'; attack on presidential palace repulsed, say authorities
World

Guinea president 'captured', govt dissolved, claim army putschists'; attack on presidential palace repulsed, say authorities

Reports suggest that they captured President Alpha Conde and dissolved the government, bust the ground situation remains unclear

Cryptocurrency prices tumble and exchange trading falters as snags crop up
News & Analysis

Cryptocurrency prices tumble and exchange trading falters as snags crop up

NEW YORK (Reuters) -The price of cryptocurrencies plunged and crypto trading was delayed on Tuesday, a day in which El Salvador ran into snags as the first country to adopt bitcoin as legal tender. Shares of blockchain-related firms also fell as crypto stocks were hit by trading platform outages. But the major focus was on El Salvador, where the government had to temporarily unplug a digital wallet to cope with demand.

Ford poaches Apple's car project chief Doug Field
News & Analysis

Ford poaches Apple's car project chief Doug Field

By Joseph White and Sanjana Shivdas (Reuters) -The head of Apple Inc's car project, Doug Field, is going to work for Ford Motor Co to lead the automaker's advanced technology and embedded systems efforts, a hiring coup for Ford Chief Executive Jim Farley.