Heartbreaking footage shows grieving dolphin refusing to abandon baby

A devastated mother dolphin has been filmed desperately trying to keep its baby afloat after it was apparently killed by a boat.

The heartbreaking footage was shot in Florida earlier this month. It shows the anguished mother bumping its infant, which appears to have suffered injuries to its side.

The video was posted to Twitter by Florida leisure company See Through Canoe, which thinks the calf might have been run over by a boat and struck by the propeller.

"Mother #dolphin not ready to let go of her dead calf and pushing it through the intracoastal waterway," it tweeted.

"It's hard to say for sure without examination, but the calf may have been hit by a boat. Please don't assume that because #dolphins are fast that you won't hit them. #sad."

It's drawn an emotional response from viewers, who say it's one of the saddest things they've ever seen.

"This hurts my heart. In Miami where I grew up, its manatees who suffer from speeding boats. Mom to mom, I ache for that dolphin," one person commented.

"Gut wrenching to watch. Shows how much love and affection animals have for their families," another said.