Dolphin Bully Causes Trouble for Louisiana Townthe daily dish
This porpoise certainly isn't Flipper the dolphin. According to ABC News, a bottlenose dolphin living in Lake Pontchartrain has become a local menace to the residents of a town near New Orleans.
Residents of Slidell, La. near Lake Pontchartrain are used to encountering wild animals, since the lake is the largest after Utah's Salt Lake, and it attracts all kinds of creatures. But Slidell locals aren't used to having issues with the critters they come across, leaving them confused about what to do with their bully dolphin.
The problem with this porpoise is that he is getting nippy with the swimmers of Slidell, already sending three people to the hospital with bite injuries. The Slidell Dolphin, as the male animal is being called, is continuing to show aggressive behavior, concerning citizens. Many residents fear that someone will be seriously injured, or take their anger out on the animal.
RELATED: When Animals Attack
The Slidell Dolphin took up residence in Lake Pontchartrain after Hurricane Katrina. He came in with a pod of other dolphins that were seeking refuge following the storm. Strangely, when the other animals left, the Slidell Dolphin stayed behind, going rogue and fending for himself.
After observing the Slidell Dolphin for several days, Stacey Horstman, bottlenose dolphin conservation coordinator for NOAA Fisheries Service, told ABC News that the animal is displaying typical male dominance behavior. He is acting out this aggression and territoriality towards humans because they are bothering him. Horstman said that on numerous occasions, she saw locals trying to touch the dolphin and corral him with jet skis. She also noticed several fishing hook wounds healing on the animal's skin.
RELATED: See Some Real Sea Monsters
As a result of these observations, Hortsman and NOAA have decided not to remove the animal, but educate the locals on how to properly treat him. Slidell residents have been informed not to feed, touch, harass or approach the dolphin. Additionally, Hortsman is encouraging visitors to Lake Potchartrain to be aware of how their boats and fishing equipment can affect the animal.
The NOAA hopes that if the folks of Slidell heed this advice and start treating the dolphin more like a wild animal and less like an attraction, than the porpoise will learn that humans are not a threat to his surroundings.