A seven month old dolphin which had fallen sick had been carefully looked after by its mother. The mother had spent its time swimming about in the Ambalangoda fisheries harbour accompanying the young one, apparently seeking help from the humans.
The large crowd that had gathered at the harbour on Monday afternoon witnessed this pathetic episode. The mother dolphin had left the deep sea and come to the harbour probably thinking that human help would be available to save her offspring. She had been swimming restlessly from one end of the harbour to the other but no one had come to her aid.
The owner of a turtle breeding centre nearby had attempted to save the dolphin by calling for help from Wildlife Department officers and the Coast Guard without avail.
A fish trader named Dev Rohan Rajapakse had brought the dolphin and the sick baby ashore in a boat and attempted to treat the sick baby. Despite his efforts the dolphin had died, and the loud wailing of its mother was amazing; and the watchers were all in tears sharing the grief of the dolphin whose motherly love was something never before seen or heard.
The dead baby dolphin was removed Wildlife Department officers who took steps to release the mother dolphin safely to the sea. (M. Sunil Priyantha and Deepal De Silva)