Biting Dolphin Attacks Swimmers, Raising Alarm. "Don't Go Near"

This dolphin has absolutely had it with tourists.

Beachgoers at Koshino Beach, Fukui, Japan, are being warned to watch out for an aggressive dolphin that has carried out ten attacks on swimmers since July 9. The latest attack resulted in two swimmers being taken to hospital with bite wounds. "Don't go near them," the police warn. Here's what's happening with the rogue mammal.

Lone Attacker


Authorities believe the same dolphin is responsible for all the attacks on swimmers, and warn people not to swim near the aggressive mammal in case of "potentially severe wounds." "Dolphins tend to be considered cute, but if you approach wild dolphins carelessly, you might get bitten and injured," said Fukui Prefectural Police in a Twitter post. "If you spot any, don't go near them."

Two More Swimmers Attacked


Two swimmers ended up going to the hospital after being attacked and bitten by the marauding dolphin on August 11. One man had injuries on his left hand, and the other was bitten on both arms and the back of his hand.

Seriously, Don't Touch the Dolphins

woman kissing a dolphin on the snout

Dolphins are wild animals and should be respected as such—which might explain why this particular dolphin has had enough. "We understand that there are certain body parts where dolphins don't like to be touched, like the tip of its nose and its back fin," says tourism promotion department Masaki Yasui. According to Yasui, tourists have been caught on camera trying to touch the dolphin on those sensitive spots. "We encourage visitors to watch the dolphin from afar if they come across it," Yasui advises.

Stop Taking Selfies With Dolphins

Diver making a selfie with a dolphin underwater on deep blue sea background looking at the camera.

The dolphin attacked another group after they attempted to take a picture with the dolphins. At this point, it's starting to sound like the dolphin was getting tired of people trying to interact, and behaved the way wild creatures do when they're harassed. Officials are hoping ultrasonic transmitters will keep the dolphins away from the beach.

RELATED: Man "Swallowed by Hippo That Ripped Off My Arm" Tells What it Was Like Inside

Cute But Deadly

A hunting inshore bottlenose dolphin feeds on a fish in the blue waters off Reunion Island in the Indian Ocean

Dolphins have a reputation as cute, intelligent creatures, but people forget they are apex predators and fully capable of killing, even if most of the time they are not dangerous. Dolphin attacks are nothing new—a ten-year-old was attacked in 2019 by two captive bottlenose dolphins in Cancun, Mexico. Another eight-year-old was attacked in 2012 while attempting to feed a dolphin at SeaWorld, Orlando. "More people are now able to travel and participate in these swim activities with captive dolphins so it is more likely that these attacks will occur," Lucy Babey, Head of Science and Conservation for ORCA, told The Sun. "And because of social media, they are also reported more. Dolphins are highly sociable, intelligent creatures that are meant to be in the wild and travel long distances so if you keep them captive they can get more stressed and this will lead to more aggressive behaviors." 

Ferozan Mast
Ferozan Mast is a science, health and wellness writer with a passion for making science and research-backed information accessible to a general audience. Read more
Filed Under
 •  •