Marine police and the Department of Environment are repeating warnings for members of the public not to swim with a lone bottlenose dolphin in the North Sound.
The dolphin appeared in the Sound in mid-June, prompting some people to get in the water and swim with him. The Department of Environment issuing a warning earlier this month about the potential danger the wild dolphin could pose to swimmers as he is unused to being around humans and appears to be acting aggressively.
Marine police’s concerns about people continuing to swim with the dolphin led to the re-issuance of the warning.
Department of Environment Research Officer Janice Blumenthal said: “Observing a wild dolphin is a rare privilege in the Cayman Islands.
However, wild dolphins – especially lone dolphins – can be unpredictable and dangerous when approached by swimmers. Therefore, DOE is warning members of the public not to enter the water with this animal.”
People who have approached the dolphin have reported “jaw-clapping” – 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,” said Ms Blumenthal.
The dolphin has been seen rubbing up against moorings and boat anchors.
To avoid altering its natural behaviour, DOE asks members of the public who see the dolphin to watch it from a distance, not approach too closely, and not attempt to feed the animal.
In order to gather information on the behaviour of the animal, sightings should be reported to DOE by phone at 949-8469 or email [email protected]