Did a group of dolphins really save a drowning dog as pictured in viral news? Turns out, it is false.
Editor's Note: An earlier version of this story claimed, "Dog Falls Into Canal And Fights For Life Until Group Of Dolphins Save Him In Incredible Effort". The story was later found to be false and misreported.
While we all love a good story about different species of animals bonding with each other, one such story hit the internet last year. This was a story about a group of dolphins who saved a dog that was drowning and it soon went viral with several media houses reporting it. However, it has been found that the story is anything but true. It was reported as fake news. The article was about a distressed dog drowning in a canal and then a group of dolphins rises to the occasion to make sure the deep waters did not claim the poor animal's life.
According to The Epoch Times, the earlier report stated that an 11-year-old Doberman Pinscher named Turbo had been missing for 15 hours and that's when these dolphins found him struggling to keep his head above the waters in the canal. It also mentioned that the pooch belonged to a resident named Cindy Burnett and that he had escaped from his home on Sunday night after her house gate was left open. Although Burnett searched the neighborhood tirelessly, she was unable to locate the missing dog. Turns out, this never happened. According to a fact-checking site Lead Stories, it was found out that the image of the dog riding on the back of a dolphin is from a short film called Zeus and Roxanne, which was the work of a Dutch filmmaker. And the viral image was a screengrab from the short film that runs just six minutes. You can watch it here below.
However, this doesn't disregard the fact that dolphins are actually very helpful, something even marine biologists agree. Speaking on the subject, Dr. Rochelle Constantine from the Auckland University School of Biological Science, said, "Dolphins are known for helping helpless things. It is an altruistic response, and bottlenose dolphins, in particular, are known for it."
Meanwhile, Lori Marino, one of the world's leading experts on dolphins, also noted that they display a great amount of empathy towards other species. “They’re a very social, very caring species," she said. “They care for each other in ways that no other species does. So I think when they know that somebody else is in trouble, it’s part of their nature to help. That’s what they do when one of their own kind or a dolphin from another species is injured," Marino continued. "And mothers do it for their calves to make sure they come up to the surface in enough time to breathe. So they’re just extending their natural caregiving behavior to another species."