Lonely dolphin 'trying to make friends with humans' after being separated from pod in Australia
Tuesday 07 January 2014
A lonely young dolphin is trying to make friends with humans along Australia’s east coast but swimmers are being told to shun the creature.
The wild female bottlenose was separated from her pod in 2012 and has been looking for friends around Sydney Harbour ever since.
But she seems to prefer people to her own species and has become famous for frolicking with swimmers and joining surfers in the waves.
The dolphin, who has a distinctive nick in her dorsal fin, was caught on camera by swimmers she visited at a Sydney beach on New Year's Day.
Australia’s National Parks and Wildlife Service is appealing to beachgoers to resist the playful creature’s advances.
Michael Treanor, area manager of Sydney Harbour, said large crowds swimming with it endangered both the dolphin and themselves and could ruin its chances of rejoining a pod in the wild.
He said: “Although this dolphin does seem to actively seek out human interaction, we are becoming more and more concerned about the number of people swimming with it at once, and of reports of people attempting to ride the animal, poke it and feed it.
“I cannot stress enough that this is a wild animal and if it is threatened it will act on instinct and could unintentionally hurt someone.”
Wild dolphins are unpredictable and very strong, with the potential to injure people.
The Sydney dolphin has been socialising with her own species less and less and experts believe the long-term separation from her kind has changed her behavioural patterns.
Rescuers freed it after it became trapped in closed waters at Sussex Inlet in September 2012 but the dolphin did not find another pod in the open ocean as expected.
If they decide the dolphin is putting itself or anyone at risk, it will be put into captivity.
Mr Treanor said: “What everyone wants is for the dolphin to re-join a pod and lead a long, healthy life in the wild with a pod of its own.
“No matter how well-meaning people are, humanising it further could mean that it is unable to form lasting bonds with other dolphins, which leaves the animal isolated and more vulnerable.”
Swimmers are being told to keep their distance from the animal and move away if it swims up to them.
- 1 Top Gear team of Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May officially heading to Amazon Prime for new car show
- 2 Stuart Baggs: Apprentice star 'The Brand' found dead aged 27
- 3 How to cancel Amazon Prime: after Top Gear hiring, how to leave premium service
- 4 Tesco scraps 'unexpected item in the bagging area' as self-checkouts switch to less 'frustrating' audio
- 5 Living in Spain and commuting to London 'cheaper than actually working in London'
Yvette Cooper: Our choice is years of Tory rule under Jeremy Corbyn – or a return to a Labour government
Labour leadership contender Jeremy Corbyn says 'we can learn a great deal from Karl Marx'
Public anger after French sunbather beaten up by gang for wearing a bikini in Reims park
Labour leadership: New poll shows party is now even 'less electable' than under Ed Miliband
While we fixate on Calais, the Government is quietly deporting dozens of migrants on 'ghost flights'
Calais crisis: For desperate migrants it is 'England or death' as they brave dogs, riot police and speeding trains
£28000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: With extensive experience and a...
£26000 - £34000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join ...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: Due to on-going expansion, this leading provid...
£6 - £8 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join a family ...