A video shows a pod of dolphins appearing just in time to rescue a baby seal from being washed ashore. The seal had become separated from its group and appeared unable to resist strong ocean currents driving it away from deep waters to the shoreline.
It seemed all hope was lost when a pod of bottlenose dolphins emerged from the blue haze of the ocean and rescued the seal pup from peril.
According to the Daily Mail, the video was captured by a Canadian film crew shooting a documentary series entitled "Return to Shark Island," for nature channel Oasis HD. It shows the pod of dolphins swimming up to the weakened pup and giving it much needed assistance by nudging it to safety.
Incidents of what appear "altruistic behavior" from the human perspective have been recorded on several occasions among dolphins and other higher social animals beside humans. The Daily Mail reports that Lori Marino, a neuroscientist and senior lecturer at the department of psychology, Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia, who specializes in dolphin behavior told the Associated Press that dolphins exhibit patterns of intelligent behavior and communication in social life as apes, monkeys and humans. According to The Huffington Post, she said: "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."
Dolphins are known to help injured members of their pod, animals of other species, including humans.
The Daily Mail reports that in November 2004, a report from New Zealand said four lifeguards, swimming 330 feet off the Australian coast near Whangarei, were rescued by a pod of dolphins after they came perilously close to being attacked by sharks.
The dolphins reportedly formed a barrier between the swimmers and the sharks for 40 minutes, allowing the swimmers to return to shore safely.
The Huffington Post also reports that In 2008, a bottlenose dolphin named Moko, helped rescuers lead two sperm whales, a mother and her calf, stranded on sandbar back to sea.
According to The Huffington Post, Juanita Symes told the Associated Press: "Moko just came flying through the water and pushed in between us and the whales. She got them to head toward the hill, where the channel is. It was an amazing experience."