A lone seal pup found itself in a tricky situation when it floated into shallow waters near a beach. Though it tried to swim away from the shore, the strong current inhibited its progress.
Luckily, a group of dolphins swimming nearby arrived to help the young seal and gently nudged it in the right direction. The benevolent act, captured on film by Canadian nature channel Oasis HD, is just another example of the "mysterious altruistic behavior that dolphins are known to show to other animals," the narrator explains in the video clip (seen above).
Indeed, dolphins have a history of doing good deeds for other marine animals outside their species.
In 2008, when rescuers failed to save two sperm whales stranded on a sandbar , a bottlenose dolphin named Moko intervened and led the mother and calf back to sea.
"Moko just came flying through the water and pushed in between us and the whales," rescuer Juanita Symes told the Associated Press. "She got them to head toward the hill, where the channel is. It was an amazing experience."
Interestingly, dolphins have also been known to lend a hand (er, flipper) to humans in need. In 2007, surfer Todd Endris survived a shark attack, thanks to a pod of dolphins that formed a protective ring around the surfer and helped him safely to shore.
Similarly, three men who were lost at sea after their fishing boat capsized also cited the mammals as their saviors. In an April 2012 segment of Biography Channel's "I Survived," the men retold their tale of how several dolphins came to their sides and ran off a pack of circling sharks.
While dolphins are vastly different from humans, they share more similarities with people than we might think.
According to Emory University's Lori Marino, a neuroscientist who specializes in dolphin research, dolphins are similar to apes and monkeys when it comes to intelligence, social behavior and communications. Marino told the Associated Press that, though dolphins differ from humans on a neurological level, "the more you learn about them, the more you realize that they do have the capacity and characteristics that we think of when we think of a person."
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