LONE DOLPHINS - FRIEND OR FOE?
up with Flipper you may be forgiven for believing that all bottlenose
dolphins actively seek out the company of humans.
most live happily in groups ranging from 2 to 25 dolphins.
however, individuals choose to snub the company of their dolphin
companions in favour of two legged land lovers. And George the dolphin
has done just that.
term loner, George has previously been sighted in the waters of
Ireland, the Channel islands and the coast of France.
George has chosen to take up residence is the seaside town of Weymouth,
where excited beach goers have been flocking in droves.
lone dolphin phenomenon has caused quite a stir in Weymouth and
indeed around the world, were over 20 similar occurrences have been
before you grab your costume and flippers, it is worth looking back
on past lone dolphin encounters to find out what deep water you
could be getting yourself into.
Friend or foe?
1994 a lone bottlenose dolphin on Brazil’s South Coast had been
regularly visiting the local beach of Caraguatatuba.
like George has an eye for the ladies|
Tiao he soon became the centre of attention, and could often be
found surrounded by as many as 30 bathers, all trying to hitch a
lift on his back or grab on to his dorsal fin.
situation worsened as attempts were made to stick ice cream sticks
down his blow hole.
Tiao’s patience was wearing thin. 29 bathers suffered minor injuries,
before one swimmer was so severely injured by Tiao, that he later
died from internal bleeding.
that year, Tiao, dubbed "killer dolphin" by the media,
disappeared. It can only be assumed that Tiao had finally had enough
and returned to his fellow dolphins.
Unaware of the danger
has been besieged by excitable bathers and like Taio his patience
is wearing thin.
Alexander has experienced George's boisterous behaviour|
has already been reported to have hospitilised two adults, bitten
several children, as well as pushing a young swimmer out to sea.
Packham interviewed dolphin expert Jenny Alexander who
describes George as a troubled, over - sexed young man. Yet few
bathers at Weymouth seem aware of the dangers George may pose, or
the previous incidents in which he has injured, albeit unintentionally,
over friendly bathers.
Look, don't touch
yet, it is still unknown as to why some dolphins choose to actively
seek out the company of humans. But while they do, it is up to everyone
to respect and protect George and the rest of these beautiful creatures,
both for their safety and yours.
curious and tactile creature he may be, but it must not be forgotten
that George and all lone dolphins are wild creatures. If we are
to protect them and ourselves then interaction should be actively
keep your hands in your pockets, don't touch