At least 40 dolphins have been found dead after the sinking of a Japanese ship that ran aground in July and began losing oil
In shocking images, collected by Reuters, you can see the last moments of the life of two dolphins, a mother and her calf, and the strenuous efforts of the first to save the second. Unfortunately, they both died.
In the video, recorded by a fisherman who tried to help rescue the dolphins, you can see how the mother repeatedly pushes her calf’s head over the oily waves, into a lake in Mauritius with the aim of saving her.
This is part of a complaint from environmental groups, who are demanding an investigation into the deaths of dozens of dolphins following an oil spill in the area.
200 dolphins can die
According to these groups, cited by The Star, at least 40 dolphins have been found dead in Mauritius since Monday last week, when a Japanese ship was sunk after stranding in July and losing oil.
But that number may increase. According to Yasfeer Heenaye, the 31-year-old fisherman who filmed the mother and baby dolphin in their desperate attempt to survive, there are almost 200 dolphins within the reef that have been affected by the oil leak.
“Some were injured and others were just floating,” explains Heenaye, noting that fishermen have tried to pull the dolphins out of the lake and into the open sea.
“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 says.
For Heenaye, the tragic event with the mother dolphin and her calf has been traumatic. “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 rolled onto its side and died in front of them, floating in the waves.
“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.” Soon after, the mother had seizures and also died, according to another witness.