The Cayman Islands Department of Environment is appealing to members of the public, tourists and water-sports operators to help them track down Stinky, the solitary dolphin next week.
Three marine experts from the United States are scheduled to arrive in Cayman Tuesday to study the dolphin’s behaviour and its interactions with humans on Wednesday and Thursday, during which time anyone who spots the dolphin should contact the Department of Environment so the trio of experts can visit the location where the animal is sighted to observe him.
Marine biologists Laura Engleby and Trevor Spradlin from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and Chris Dold, vice president of veterinary services at Sea World Parks and Entertainment, will spend two days next week watching the dolphin, which has been harassing divers and swimmers and reportedly attacking other marine wildlife.
Director of Environment Gina Ebanks-Petrie said the experts would “make observations of the animal and the interaction he is having with swimmers and divers and people in the water to try to give us some short-term guidance on what we can do.”
The current advice from the DoE is to avoid interacting with the dolphin and to get out of the water as soon as possible if the dolphin approaches.
The dolphin has been acting sexually aggressively and approaching boats, swimmers and divers since June. A Youtube video of the dolphin accosting underwater videographer Michael Maes at a dive site off West Bay has attracted nearly half a million hits.
Because the dolphin moves around and has been spotted in many different areas, Janice Blumenthal, research officer at the Department of Environment, is asking members of the public, boat operators and anyone out in the water who spots the dolphin to contact the department so the experts can travel to wherever the dolphin has been seen.
Ms Blumenthal also urged members of the public and tourists who have filmed or photographed the dolphin to send the videos or images to the Department of Environment, so the experts can examine those also.
Anyone who spots the dolphin or has images or videos of it should call 949-8469 or email [email protected]