Footage shows Dusty the Dolphin 'attack'

Published Friday, 09 August 2013
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Swimming with dolphins is often perceived as a tranquil experience, but footage of an "attack" on a swimmer off the Co Clare coast in the Republic of Ireland shows that is not always the case.

Thousands of people have watched the online video of the moment a woman was struck repeatedly by Dusty the Dolphin in Doolin.

She had to be pulled from the water and was taken to hospital by ambulance, having suffered a compressed vertebrae, broken rib and damage to her lung.

Warning signs have been erected by the local council and the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group, advising members of the public not to try to swim with Dusty.

The action was taken after a number of reports of aggressive behaviour towards people - although it is still unclear if the dolphin was only being playful.

Respect her as a wild dolphin and do not grab, lunge or chase after her.

Irish Whale and Dolphin Group

At least five other people have been hurt, including one woman who was taken to hospital after being rammed in the stomach and another who was airlifted to hospital in Germany."If this continues, it may lead to a fatality and there will be strong pressure to remove or destroy the dolphin," a statement from the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group said.

"If you really are concerned about Dusty, you will not swim with her - or at least if you do, you should show her the respect a wild dolphin is entitled to."

Dusty has been around since 2000 and experts are urging people to respect that she is a wild animal.

"It is IWDG policy to discourage people swimming with whales and dolphins," the group said.

"The risk is not only to humans, but also to the dolphin - as habituation to humans increases risk of injury or death to the dolphin."

The group recognises that many people have enjoyed their experiences swimming with Dusty, but is concerned that some do not recognise the signals sent out when the dolphin is not happy.

Back in 2004, a tourist reported that she had been attacked by the dolphin and that she had feared she would drown as she was pushed out to sea.

© UTV News
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16 Comments
Down with this sort of thing in ballymena wrote (352 days ago):
I think all swimmers, including the dolphin, should be sent on health and safety courses until this kind of thing ends. Alternatively see your local insurance dealer for the proper coverage.
Owen Tierney in Orkney wrote (353 days ago):
I am interested in the fact that Dolphins are being filmed acting agressively as, a couple of years ago a pod of around 26 appeared in the Bay of Firth right below my house. I took my grandson out in my boat and we watched them for a couple of hours as well as videoing them. The next day as I drove to Kirkwall I saw a dolphin on the beach and went to investigate. It was dead and seriously ripped on the neck and one side so had obviously been attacked.About 20feet further up the beach there was a dead common or harbour seal pup,this was early July so the pups were only a few weeks old. It had been chewed up fretty badly and had died of its injuries. Thirty yards along the beach another seal pup in the same condition. On scouring the shore all round the bay I found the remains of 19 pups,which accounted for the entine crop of common seal pups in the colony which breed in the area. My conclusion from the evidence was that the Dolphins had killed all the pups and that the dead Dolphin had most likely been attacked by seals trying to protect their young. This did not find favour with the experts who seem to like portraying Dolphins as nice friendly animals,but the truth as I see it is that they are wild animals who survive by predating other species so am still convinced that my theory is right. This article adds credibility to it as well. I would be interested in any comments. Oren Tierney.
another moron trying to be funny/ in comber wrote (354 days ago):
flipper in outer Hebrides, your a very rude person, how dare you try and make fun of paddy, he has every right to express his comment without a clown like you poking fun at him, what do you know about dolphins?nothing , so keep your stupid comments to yourself, moron.
Flipperfan in Belfast wrote (354 days ago):
Thats a cracker flipper hehe
Housewife in Co. Londonderry wrote (354 days ago):
You would try to pet a lion on the Serengeti!!! You would try too cuddle a grizzly in Alaska!!! If the dolphin thinks that you are a threat to its territory, it's offspring (if it has any) or its Food source then it will protect it the only way it's knows how. You may not see yourself as such but it will, leave this spectacular creature alone in the water and watch from a distance.
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