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Dolphin baby given 'ticking off'

14 September 11 21:01
Dolphin being tossed into the air

Dolphin watchers in west Wales have spotted unusual behaviour as a female repeatedly tossed a newborn calf into the air.

They say it is the first time such "violent" behaviour has been seen by a mother in Cardigan Bay although males dolphins have been known to kill their young.

Dr Peter Evans, from the Sea Watch Foundation, said it might have been a case of a severe telling off due to the two to three day old calf wandering too far away.

"She was nosing it away in a particular direction, then suddenly she threw the infant right up into the air, and then did this about three times," he explained.

"Normally when you see something like an animal thrown into the air it's an aggressive action by a male dolphin.

"In this instance it was the mother doing it (the attacking), and she was doing it very rigorously.

"It was moving away, several times, from the mother, and perhaps it was straying too far and she wanted to keep a close eye on it."

Dr Evans said this may have been because there were humans nearby or other adult dolphins.

"It was possible a got a strong scolding because of that, and the animal was unharmed at the end," he added.

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