French Beach That Was Closed By A Dolphin

Samuel Reason | August 28th, 2018

Know as Zafar to the locals in the Bay Of Brest in western France, the 3-meter long bottlenose dolphin started off as a friendly attraction. The bay has become the dolphins hang out of choice and he would often swim with people or jump around boats. Sometimes he would even let swimmers hold on to his fin and have a swim around the bay with him.

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Then everything went so wrong, Zafar started to appear to be increasingly frustrated. He would rub himself against people and boats, in a behavior that could only mean one thing: Zafar was searching for sex. In one case he refused to let a swimmer go back to the shore, and in the end that particular swimmer had to be rescued.

Before any actual harm could happen, the mayor sprung into action and banned all swimming when Zafar was confirmed to be in the area. He also banned getting in 50 meters of the dolphin. Though specialists from a nearby aquarium have confirmed that the dolphin has not shown any real signs of aggression, it is possible for dolphins to cause harm by accident, especially with their tail fin.

It is known that dolphins do not really have set mating periods in a year, so sometimes that energy that builds up is just directed at other species. There have been documented cases were a dolphins affection for humans appears to be a stronger bond than just friendship.

In the 1960s, NASA actually funded an experiment to attempt to teach dolphins English or any human-like sounds. Most of the trainers would only stay in the compound during the day and would go home at night. However, one trainer Margaret Howe Lovatt, would stay the night and lived full time in the facility. One of the dolphins called Peter soon became completely attached to Margaret, always rubbing against her knees, feet or hands.

Sadly, when the experiment ended and Peter has moved away, it was documented that Peter committed suicide by consciously deciding not to take another breath. The main explanation was that Peter was sad from being moved away from Margaret.

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