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Dying mum dolphin struggles to save baby in lagoon after devastating oil spill

staronline@reachplc.com (Anna Savva)

The tragic moment a dolphin tries in vain to revive her dead baby following an oil slick disaster has been caught on camera.

Footage shows the baby roll on its side as its mum repeatedly nudges its head above the oily waves in a lagoon in Mauritius, before she also succumbs to the toxic waters.

A fisherman who tried to help rescue the dolphins said he cried as he recorded the last desperate moments of the mother and her calf as the extent of the disaster hits home.

Environmentalists are now demanding an investigation into the deaths of dozens of dolphins following the oil spill.

At least 40 dolphins have been found dead in Mauritius since Monday, 38 of these washed ashore, as well as the mother and her baby.

The baby dolphin rolled over on its side, floating on the surface

The toxic fuel came from Japanese ship, MV Wakashio, which was scuttled after running aground in July and leaking oil and it’s feared more sea life could die as a result.

The death toll may rise as Yasfeer Heenaye, the 31-year-old fisherman who filmed the mother and baby, said he saw nearly 200 dolphins inside the reef on Friday morning.

“Some were injured and some were just floating,” Heenaye said.

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Fishermen were trying to herd the dolphins out of the lagoon into the open seas.

He continued: “Inside the reef there is oil spill on the water – if they stay inside maybe all of them will die – but if they go outside maybe they will survive.

Environmentalists are demanding an investigation into the deaths of dozens of dolphins

“We were trying to push the dolphins outside the reef, making noise in the boat to make the dolphins go outside the reef,” he said.

“There was a mother and her baby… He was very tired, he didn’t swim well.

“But the mum stayed alongside him, she didn’t leave her baby to go with the group.

“All the way she stayed with him. She was trying to protect him… to push the baby to get back with the group.”

Greenpeace previously issued a warning against the sinking of the vessel

But the baby wallowed on its side and died in front of them, floating on the waves, he said.

“When I was seeing this, there was tears in my eyes. I am a parent of a little daughter, it is very difficult for me to see the mother struggle and try her best to save her baby,” Heenaye said.

A short while later, the mother had convulsions and died too, said another witness, Reuben Pillay.

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