WATCH: What adoption in the wild looks like
A National Geographic video of a dolphin mother who took in a whale is showing that adoption is more natural than we know.
"A rare phenomenon." (iStock)

Researchers are calling the 'adoption' of a baby melon-headed whale by a bottlenose dolphin mother "a rare phenomenon."

The mother was spotted swimming alongside the orphaned whale and her own calf in 2014 when researchers noticed a decided difference between the mom and her young, reports National Geographic

Scientists say adoption in the wild is not known to occur interspecies, with this particular genus of dolphin usually raising their young one at a time. 

The researchers observed the mother and her pod up until 2018, within which time the adopted calf was seen to pick up a thing or two from his new family like "surfing and leaping into the waves."

Watch the video here.

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