‘Bullied’ dolphin finds refuge in California wetlands
A dolphin has spent several days apparently hiding out in Orange County, California’s Bolsa Chica wetlands reserve.
When rescue workers on paddleboards attempted to persuade the dolphin to return to the open sea on Saturday, it was driven back into the wetlands by a group of dolphin bullies. On Friday, it was human spectators who scared the dolphin back into the reserve. Marine experts are now recommending that the dolphin be left alone rather than encouraged to leave and be exposed to the intimidating dolphin group. It can feed on fish in the wetlands and is able to find its own way out, should it decide to go.
The dolphin has been affectionately dubbed ‘Freddie’ by local media, always on the lookout for a distracting bit of human-interest journalism. And here I am contributing to the fluff.
But there are some interesting points to this story. Such as the idea that dolphins, like humans, can also be assholes.
He was scared, he was intimidated, he was bullied. [Dolphins] can be very aggressive toward each other. They’re not the sweet, loving, gentle animals portrayed by the movies and the cartoons. They do have a dark side.
–Peter Wallerstein, director, Marine Animal Rescue, California
Check out the below local news video report from Huntington Beach, California and read more on the story in the Los Angeles Times.