A group of biologists at the Far Out Ocean Research Collective organization, New Zealand, spotted a bottlenose dolphin that was nursing a melon-head whale calf.
Adoption among mammals usually occurs within the same species; hence, this relationship between a dolphin and her non-biological calf was unusual and supposedly the first known case of such an adoption. The dolphin treated the whale as if it were her baby!
Researchers presumed that the doting mother might have lost her calf, and the orphaned whale accentuated her maternal instincts bigtime.
The adoption is assumed to have happened nearly a month ago.
The whale belonged to a family of long-finned pilot whales. While it was named a ‘whale’, it was actually a type of dolphin.
The duo showed unparalleled commitment and was seen together for nearly three years!