Trying to get close — off the Kona Coast, Braden and Alicia, 2014, Kealakekua State Park, Hawaii
Check out this link from the New Scientist. It discusses dolphin team problem-solving, in the context of removing a lid from a food container. My initial thesis has been the driver of higher intelligence and empathetic development on the planet Earth was the need for mes0- (middle) scale predators to coordinate both prey attack, and predator defense. Early mirroring behavior dates back to the Silurian, with schools of bony fishes. And there are lots of examples of empathy and intelligence development stagnation among animals, both reptilian/saurischian (dinosaurs) and mammalian.
But when you put the need to both avoid getting eaten, and, well, eating other things, you’re on your way out of the Survival v-Meme. You’re not guaranteed to make it, as this piece on near-extinction shows. There’s a fine line of ecological sustainability, while being lucky enough for only modest climate catastrophe.
For those that need a longer treatise on trans-species empathy, you can read this post that I’ve written here.