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NOAA issues warning about aggressive dolphin on North Padre Island

They said "the animal is showing more aggressive behavior, separating children from their parents in the water, and isolating swimming pets from their owners."
Credit: Texas Marine Mammal Stranding Network Photos taken under a Stranding Agreement between NOAA and Texas Marine Mammal Stranding Network under the authority of the MMPA

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — An aggressive dolphin on North Padre Island may try to separate families from each other, and NOAA has put out a warning for those planning on spending their holiday at the beach. 

Biologists reported that "the animal is showing more aggressive behavior, separating children from their parents in the water, and isolating swimming pets from their owners."

The dolphin has become accustomed to human interaction, so NOAA advises beachgoers to avoid seeking it out, for the safety of yourselves and the animal.

NOAA shared what to do if the dolphin approaches you.

If you are in a boat: Avoid stopping, and slowly move away by maintaining course and speed. Keep your hands and feet inside of the boat, and do not reach over to touch or pet it.

If you are swimming: Leave the water as quickly as possible to avoid interaction.

It is important to remember that while the dolphin may seem friendly, it is, first and foremost, a wild animal whose behavior is unpredictable and potentially harmful.

NOAA emphasized that "any interaction with the dolphin that may injure or change its behaviors is harassment and illegal under the Marine Mammal Protection Act." So, they are asking for these violations to be reported to their enforcement hotline at (800) 853-1964.

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