A rogue dolphin has started menacing the residents of an upscale waterfront community outside of New Orleans. The animal was swimming in Lake Pontchartrain in Slidell, Louisiana when his pod left and he was left stranded in the lake. The dolphins originally made their way into the lake shortly after hurricane Katrina. It was only until recently that the pod up-and-left. All but one, and local residents are finding out why.
The guy is a jerk. Or rather, he is becoming a jerk after the residents have taken to interacting with the creature in a way they shouldn’t. Stacey Horstman, a bottlenose dolphin conservation coordinator who reports to the NOAA Fisheries Service, told ABC News that she spent two days observing the dolphin. During that time she saw people encircling and corralling the dolphin with their boats and jet ski’s attempting to force an interaction. The combination of being isolated from his pod and being constantly bothered by humans is making the dolphin aggressive.
“The dolphin is showing normal male dominance behavior. However, these behaviors are misdirected at people and boats because of people interacting with him,” she said. Stacey and fellow wildlife coordinators are advising that people stay away from the dolphin until they figure out what to do. Right now there are no plans to have him removed from the lake.
“The most effective and safe solution for the dolphin and people is to change our human behaviors that have created his behaviors,” said Hortsman. “Therefore, we currently don’t plan to move the dolphin for this reason and because research also shows that relocating animals is not an effective or long-term solution.”
Many residents, who have named him the Slidell dolphin, don’t want to see him go. “He’s my neighbor,” a local man said the ABC. Another said, “He’s not in a natural environment. Maybe they should find him a girlfriend.”