The baby dolphin had somehow become separated from its pod and washed onto shore at a remote beach near Sleaford, in South Australia.
The other dolphins lingered in the gentle surf, seemingly concerned about the newborn.
The newborn dolphin, however, was stranded, and almost certainly would have perished had Andy and Jo Wright not glanced back toward the beach and hurried to the rescue.
The husband and wife had walked down to the beach to observe the pod as it swam along the shore. Andy spotted the calf while walking back up a dirt path toward the couple’s car.
The young mammal, which looked to be about a week old, had apparently become disoriented in the shallow water.
“I quickly threw my wetsuit on, my wife grabbed the camera and we ran onto the beach,” Wright told the Port Lincoln Times.
Wright picked up the calf and carried it into shallow water, pointed it toward sea and let go. But the dolphin quickly became beached again.
While this was happening the pod was loitering in the waves. Dolphins are highly social and older animals are known to be caring and attentive to younger pod members.
On the second attempt, however, the dolphin swam to sea and reached pod. Presumably, it rejoined its mother.
Said Wright, who is from the western city of Port Lincoln: “I’ve been surfing on West Coast for 30 years and I’ve seen plenty of dolphins before, but I’ve never seen anything like this.”
Hopefully, for the calf’s sake, there will be no more trips to the beach.
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