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Swimmers Warned Not to Swim With ‘Bobi’ the Bottlenose Dolphin

Croatia WeekLošinj-based marine research and conservation institute Blue World have warned swimmers in Karin, near Zadar on the Adriatic coast, not to swim with or touch Bobi the local bottlenose dolphin…

Blue World say that the public need to made aware about Bobi, a solitary bottlenose dolphin who has appeared near a beach in Karin, and has reportedly been playing with children’ and ‘guarding them.

“We believe it is necessary to caution the public, primarily for their safety and the safety of dolphin Bobi. By swimming with bottlenose dolphins you are exposing yourself to potentially serious injuries that a wild, large and immensely strong animal can inflict. Statements about ‘the dolphin safeguarding the children’ and ‘enjoying playing’ create the impression that this is a harmless toy. However, adult bottlenose dolphins grow over 3m in length and can weigh over 250 kg! Interaction in which swimmers, especially unattended children, approach this animal and touch it, cling to its fins or perform similar actions is potentially extremely dangerous,” Blue World said, before adding.

“There have been several solitary dolphins appearing in the Adriatic and approaching humans for unknown reasons. Well known examples include bottlenose dolphins Joca (in Boka kotorska), Filippo (in Manfredonia) and a striped dolphin that was living in Velebit channel for years. Currently, there is a bottlenose dolphin named Bobi currently living in the Karin Sea, since April 2014. Although there is no research available on its behaviour, we are assuming it is a solitary dolphin, an individual which is not socialising with other members of the same species for some reason.”

Bottlenose dolphins are not aggressive animals generally, and often approach humans, allowing close interactions. However, like most animals, they can become agitated when dealth with aggressively and may try to ‘defend’ itself.

“In some situations, the dolphin can feel threatened, agitated or excited. In addition, our behaviour can sometimes be interpreted as dominance or sexual behaviour. In these occasions, their reactions are very quick and powerful. A blow with the fin or head, jumping on top of the swimmers, aggressive thrusting towards people, pushing them around and similar behaviour can be observed. Serious injuries can be inflicted that can even be life threatening. People have had broken bones, they were hit and bitten by animals who are capable of blows comparable to a collision with a jet-ski! There have also been instances where the dolphin would prevent swimmers from getting back ashore so the exhausted people had to be rescued by boat. Solitary dolphins sometimes also push the swimmers underwater which could lead to suffocation.” Blue World concluded. (pic: Blue World)

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