A Frisky Dolphin Caused a Swimming Ban in France

Aug 28, 2018

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The coastal village of Landévennec in Finistère, in Brittany, France’s most northwestern region, has a new ban: Stay away from the frisky dolphin.

A sexually aroused dolphin on a Brittany beach has become increasingly aggressive toward swimmers during his mating season, and the local mayor issued a swimming ban on Aug. 20. Swimmers will be fined 39 euros, or roughly $45, if they swim closer than 131 feet to the dolphin.

The dolphin, nicknamed Zafar, has been rubbing against people and boats, and the BBC reported that the ban followed after the 10-foot bottlenose dolphin tossed a female bather into the air with his nose.

“I issued this ban to protect people’s security,” Mayor Rodger Lars told BBC.

Samy Hassani, director of the care and conservation center at Océanopolis marine theme park in Brest explained to the French news outlet, Ouest France, that because dolphins normally travel in packs, the lonely marine mammal is seeking contact by rubbing his nose against swimmers and boats.

Officials at the Department of Finistère support the mayor’s decision.

“The prefect of Finistère supports the decision of common sense made by the mayor of Landévennec prohibiting swimming in the presence of the animal, which contributes to the safety of everyone, including swimmers the most experienced,” the department said in a tweet.

According to CNN, Zafar has since moved down the coast and locals can swim safely.

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