Dolphin / Human Interaction in the Wild

By Rania Watts

Dolphins may seem very friendly. However they are still wild animals. 

I remember decades ago I was on a trip to British Columbia, where I went to this little duck pond type area, There was signage everywhere saying please do not feed the ducks as they need to rely on their own surroundings be able to feed themselves and be self-sustainable. 

Out in the wild, the same rules apply to dolphins. “It is illegal to feed or harass wild marine mammals including dolphins, porpoises, whales, seals, sea lions, and manatees. For the health and well-being of these animals and for your safety, please do not feed, swim with, or harass these marine animals. We encourage you to observe them from a distance of at least 50 yards (150 feet).”

As stated above, dolphins are to be treated with caution and plenty of respect. They should ideally be observed from a distance. Research shows feeding wild dolphins disrupts their social groups and apparently numerous dolphin bites have been reported. Wild dolphins are certainly not similar to the ones you would see from the show Flipper. It is a preconceived notion, based on the fact that we see the end result of tamed dolphins in captivity and films, who have had to suffer intense training and food deprivation to do interactive ‘tricks’ with humans. 

https://www.fisheries.noaa.gov/marine-life-distress/frequent-questions-feeding-or-harassing-marine-mammals-wild

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