Lone dolphin may be aggressive warns DoE
(CNS): Marine mammal experts at the Department of Environment (DoE) are warning people not to swim in the water with a lone male dolphin currently swimming around the North Sound. Over the past two weeks, the DoE has received several reports about the bottlenose dolphin, which is said to be approaching boats in the sound, swimming back and forth within small areas for hours or days and rubbing against moorings and anchor chains. "Observing a wild dolphin is a rare privilege in the Cayman Islands,” said DoE Research Officer Janice Blumenthal. “However, wild dolphins, especially lone dolphins, can be unpredictable and dangerous when approached by swimmers.” (Photo Fulvio Bonati)
She added that the DoE was warning members of the public not to be tempted to enter the water with this animal.
"People who have approached the dolphin have reported ‘jaw-clapping’, which is the dolphin rapidly snapping its mouth open and shut. Dolphins use behaviours such as jaw-clapping to communicate dominance among members of the pod. In interactions with swimmers, this can convey agitation and aggression and is a clear warning sign," Blumenthal warned.
This is not the first time the government department have received reports about a lone dolphin and for several years people have spoken of a solitary dolphin living in the North Sound. It is not known whether this bottlenose dolphin is the same long-term resident dolphin. Given its smaller size when first sighted, the DoE believes it might be a young animal which was separated from its pod.
The reasons why some dolphins become solitary are not well known. While some lone dolphins have become famous for their friendly behaviour, international marine mammal experts have many concerns for the safety of lone dolphins and people when interactions occur, DoE experts explained.
The dolphins sometimes display aggressive and sexual behaviours directed toward swimmers who approach or harass them, leading to serious injuries and even death. In addition, veterinary experts are concerned about the potential for transfer of diseases from dolphins to humans and vice versa. For lone dolphins, habituation to people often leads to changes in behaviour, infections and injuries such as propeller strikes from inhabiting areas of high human activity.
To avoid altering the natural behaviour of the apparent local resident dolphin, the DoE is asking asks members of the public who see the dolphin to watch it from a distance, not approach too closely, and not to attempt to feed the marine animal.
In order to gather information on the behaviour of the animal, sightings should be reported to DoE by phone (949-8469) or email DoE@gov.ky.
- Condo for rent
- George Town Landfill to close early
- Grand Court Juror Report Date Changed
- Government Schools Begin Registration
- Church Street Closed to All Vehicular Traffic
- On Sales : Samsung Galaxy SIV / Apple iPhone 5 64GB
- Sales On: Apple iPhone 5 32GB, Samsung I9300 Galaxy S III / Galaxy S4 Buy 2 get 1 free
- Affordable South Side Home for Sale
- house for rent
- car for sale
The comments posted do not necessarily reflect the views of CNS or any individual staff member. All comments are posted subject to approval by CNS. Read more
- North Siders have a right to
35 min 16 sec ago
- That's because no one was
37 min 39 sec ago
- Slightly misleading
41 min 3 sec ago
42 min 58 sec ago
- I think voters are
47 min 43 sec ago
- Still rounded to 80% no need
53 min 5 sec ago
- If indeed this money came
54 min 56 sec ago
- The result will be the same
55 min 28 sec ago
- I don't care about voting
1 hour 6 min ago
- Uhhhh - Since they RESIDE in
1 hour 10 min ago