In Texas, the NOAA is going to fine those who feed and pet marine mammals.
Texas wildlife experts urge people to stay away from dolphins, even if they’re friendly themselves. Such a statement had to be made after a dolphin settled near the area of the island of North Padre, south of Corpus Christi, which seemed to be making contact with people. Residents and tourists began to actively use this opportunity, swimming next to him, trying to jump and pet.
They recorded a video, which, in turn, attracted even more attention and new people to the dolphin. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) had to intervene in the situation.
“For a dolphin, these actions can be fatal. It is clear that he is already in danger from human interactions. “
The problem is that, getting used to people, the dolphin forgets about its natural instincts and begins to associate a person with additional food. As a result, he himself approaches boats and can easily get injured or get stuck in fishing equipment. Experts have already seen a wound on his left side, which was probably inflicted by a boat’s propeller.
Now NOAA is working with biologists from the Texas Marine Mammal Network to track the dolphin. Experts explain that this is so far the only thing that can be done for its safety: it is impossible to move it, as suggested by some animal activists. Firstly, this area is a home for the dolphin, and after moving it will become vulnerable if he has to fight for territory with relatives already living there. Secondly, in the new environment there may be a different food base, and the animal will have to learn to hunt again.
There is also a high probability that in a new place he will continue to do the same: make contact with people or, even worse, teach other dolphins to do this. Finally, the marine mammal can simply go back to where it was moved from.
“We see it as a human action problem. We know that if humans change their behavior, dolphin behavior will change as well, and by doing so we can prevent future injury. Loving dolphins from afar is the best way to ensure that they are able to thrive and live fulfilling lives. ”
Representatives of NOAA have officially announced that from now on, the Office of Law Enforcement will begin to fine people who will pet the dolphin, feed it or ride it. The amount of the fine is set at $ 100-250.
Photo: Texas Marine Mammal Stranding Network