Two dolphins up close with mouth open in the water
What to do when a dolphin comes up to you

What To Do When A Dolphin Approaches You?

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  • Post category:Dolphins
  • Post last modified:12 January 2022
  • Reading time:5 mins read

If a dolphin approaches you whilst swimming, you need to be very careful and try to stop moving as much as possible. If you remain still, it will be easier for the animal to satisfy its curiosity about you. Do not try to swim towards the dolphin or panic. After all, dolphins are wild animals.

It does not matter how tempted you are. You should never try to touch a dolphin even if they approach you voluntarily. While swimming in the ocean, you need to keep in mind that the sea is just your playground, but the sea is the home of the dolphins. So, you should try to respect its individuality and privacy even if it approaches you.

Dolphins are fascinating animals, and to see them in their natural habitat is a dream to many people. While there is nothing wrong with watching the daily life of adorable marine animals, you should always respect them and understand that they are wild animals, after all.

Should I swim with dolphins?

Several dolphin species are living in captivity all across the world. While some dolphin species are pretty friendly, not all are, and they all have different personalities that you need to keep in mind. 

If you are thinking about booking a trip to a tourist attraction to swim with dolphins, you need to be a bit cautious. The first thing you need to do is conduct thorough research. Check which dolphin species you will be interacting with. Search the name of those dolphin species to find out whether those species are suffering from any negative impact of ecotourism.

Take the spinner dolphins, for example. Even though these dolphins are pretty friendly towards humans, excessive ecotourism is taking its toll on these wild marine animals. It would be best to not encourage this by booking an attraction with them.

Snorkelling or Scuba Diving

It’s best to meet dolphins whilst snorkelling or scuba diving with professionals. You dont always get the chance to meet a dolphin by this method. However, this is much more dolphin-friendly.

Caution

Whenever you face a pod of dolphins or a single individual, you should never jump into the water from the boat or actively swim towards it. Even if you are curious about the dolphins, your actions can stress them out. Not only that, in extreme cases, your actions can even separate the baby dolphins from their mothers.

Consider yourself very lucky and enjoy the unique experience as much as possible if you meet a dolphin. But, do not forget that the dolphins should be in charge of the situation. 

Even if the dolphins grab your hand or feet, you should not panic. Dolphins are just curious about your presence and trying to understand more about you. If you keep calm, it will leave when it completes its inquiry.

Do Not Pursue Wild Dolphins

Pursuing wild dolphins is illegal in most countries across the world. It can be considered wild animal harassment. 

You can aggravate the situation quickly if you actively swim towards the dolphin while it approaches you. Even if you want to check out the dolphin from up close, the dolphin may consider you as a potential threat. 

No Touching

You should never try to touch a wild dolphin, even if it comes incredibly close to you. Your most minor action can make these animals consider you a threat.

Remain Still If Possible And Do Not Panic

Even though dolphins have an image of being sweet and cuddly, it is not the truth. The dolphins are wild animals, and they can be pretty aggressive from time to time. Even though the number of dolphin attacks on humans is not that high, still a single wrong action on your part can make a dolphin potentially attack you aggressively. 

While swimming in the ocean, if a dolphin comes close to you, try to stop moving as much as possible. If you remain still, it will be easier for the animal to satisfy its curiosity about you, and there will be no chance of the dolphin considering you a threat. 

Please do not make any sudden loud noises as it can startle the dolphins. Also, if you see that the dolphin approaching you is with a baby, you should slowly try to move away from them. Try to understand whether the dolphin is stressed or irritated with your presence. If you think that is the case, slowly move away from that place.

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Teresa Milne

Teresa is learning zoology and loves to share her knowledge through her articles. She has some pets that she adores two dogs, two cats, and one hamster. Teresa has also studied canine behaviour and canine nutrition.