Posted by: Lister | March 14, 2008

Moko The Dolphin

I’ve listed this under people because I don’t have an “intelligent mammal” tag to put it under. Moko is the dolphin credited with saving a pair of pygmy sperm whales:

Conservation officer Malcolm Smith told the BBC that he and a group of other people had tried in vain for an hour and a half to get the whales to sea.

The pygmy sperm whales had repeatedly beached, and both they and the humans were tired and set to give up, he said.

But then the dolphin appeared, communicated with the whales, and led them to safety.

[…] Mr Smith said that just when his team was flagging, the dolphin showed up and made straight for them.

“I don’t speak whale and I don’t speak dolphin,” Mr Smith told the BBC, “but there was obviously something that went on because the two whales changed their attitude from being quite distressed to following the dolphin quite willingly and directly along the beach and straight out to sea.”

He added: “The dolphin did what we had failed to do. It was all over in a matter of minutes.”

Stories like this about dolphins are somtimes dismissed as anecdotes. The bar is set quite high when it comes to animals doing things people regard as too Human. Giving help is one such thing.

But this story is very clear. The people tried many times and failed. The dolphin had one attempt and managed — unless you want to claim coincidence.

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