Aggressive dolphin tries to mate with scuba diver off Cayman Islands

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Photo Credit: Ellen Cuylaerts via Facebook

It sounds like a spoof story you would find in Weekly World News or the Onion. But scuba divers off the Cayman Islands actually have videotaped a dolphin trying to mate with a diver. They named the dolphin Stinky, and the video has caused officials to warn other divers to beware of the aggressive behavior of what has become known as Cayman’s horny dolphin.

The video was released on YouTube by Michael Maes, who wrote that Stinky is a well-known loner dolphin whose behavior has become more aggressive as he has become sexually mature. Being a loner dolphin he has no other dolphins with which to mate so he sometimes goes after humans.

“So if you encounter a lonely Dolphin like ‘Stinky’, do not get into the water,” Maes writes. “If you are in the water, leave as soon and safe as possible. If the Dolphin prevents you from getting out of the water (or ascending as a diver) and you are with a group: stay close together, that will leave the Dolphin less options.”

Maes warns that a 500-pound dolphin can be very dangerous, pulling a diver either up too fast or pinning him or her down.

“In my case “Stinky” tried to keep me down on the ground which was, fortunately, only some 30 feet deep, next to a mini-wall of 85 feet depth. So as I hardly had bottom-time and had plenty of Nitrox, my life wasn’t in danger from a DCI or Nitrox intoxication point of view.But what if I were at the wall, which goes all the way down to 6,000 feet? I think you know what I mean!”

 

Here is Michael Maes’ video:

 

The website Caribbean 360 reported that the bottlenose dolphin has caught the attention of the Cayman’s Department of Environment (DoE), which has contacted the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) for guidance.

Concerned about a tragedy affecting island tourism, the agency is urging people to stay away from the dolphin.

Department of Environment Director Gina Petrie-Ebanks said it is working with the NOAA and marine mammal experts “with a view to developing a strategy for dealing appropriately with this animal.”

“As the dolphin could inadvertently injure a swimmer or diver during an interaction, the DoE is continuing to advise the public to avoid entering the water to swim with the animal. Anyone who is approached by the dolphin while diving, snorkeling, or swimming should leave the water as soon as possible.”

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