Lifestyle & Belief

Rogue dolphin in New Orleans bites (VIDEO)


A rogue bottle-nosed dolphin (not pictured) has been biting swimmers and boaters in Lake Pontchartrain, near New Orleans.


Joe Raedle

A dark, menacing fin moves through the water at Lake Pontchartrain.

Surprisingly, it's not a shark, it's a friendly bottle-nosed dolphin.

Numerous signs have been posted around the Lakeshore Estates in Slidell, near New Orleans, warning people about playing with the dolphin, according to King5.

The lone male dolphin was probably left behind when its pod left after seeking shelter in the waterways during Hurricane Katrina, said Good Morning America.

As he's grown older, the dolphin has also become more sociable and aggressive.

According to Times-Picayune, the dolphin has become a problem lately, biting swimmers and boaters. A hospital spokeswoman for Slidell Memorial Hospital said three people came in to the hospital with bites in the past year.

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Durel Landry, the manager of the Lakeshore Estates Homeowners Association, said, "If people would understand, he's a wild animal and you have to treat him like he's a wild animal and not jump on him, not go swimming with him. He's not Disney World," according to King5.

The homeowners association invited officials from the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to talk to residents about wild dolphins, according to Times-Picayune.

NOAA biologist Stacey Horstman told Times-Picayune that removing the dolphin from the waterway would not be an effective solution. "He'll likely not survive," she said. "And even if he's moved, he's likely to return."

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Residents were not only concerned for their safety but for the dolphin's as well. "Somebody's going to get bitten by this dolphin, they are going to get mad and they are going to shoot the dolphin," one resident told an ABC affiliate, according to Good Morning America.

Keith Nunez, who lives on the canal, told Times-Picayune, "He's wild, and he's got teeth and a mouth. Would you get in the cage with a lion just because he's cute?"

Here's a video report from WWL-TV on the rogue dolphin: