A bottlenose dolphin named “Clet” is reported to have attacked a man twice and “aggresively” pushed him underwater as he was swimming near an anchored yacht off the Irish coast. The man, who was wearing a wetsuit and mask, was reported to have gotten “a bit of a shock“ as a result, but was otherwise unharmed.
The incident, which took place on July 26, elicited a warning to the public from the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG), a conservation group that logs sightings of dolphins in Irish waters: “Bottlenose dolphins are not cute and cuddly.”
Sightings officer Pádraig Whooley told the BBC that the IWDG had documented many such incidents over the past 20 years, but added that it was impossible to know whether they were intentional attacks or simply “rough play.”
While the unusual incident isn’t likely to alter perceptions of dolphins as overwhelmingly friendly creatures, it reminds us that getting into the water with these 600-pound mammals still requires a fair degree of caution.
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