With the arrival of summer and the rise in numbers of bathers at sea, we start receiving more footage of people swimming with Bobi the bottlenose dolphin. Bobi is a solitary dolphin who often comes close to people and allows direct contact in search of interaction. His behaviour is unusual for this species. However, a number of similar solitary dolphins have been recorded elsewhere in the world. The cause of this behaviour remains unresolved.

Should you find yourself close to Bobi, remember these important facts:

  1. the presence of many bathers close to the dolphin can be a source of stress for the animal
  2. getting habituated to the presence of people increases the possibility of interaction with ill-intentioned people who could harm the dolphin
  3. the dolphin can be accidentally injured due to a boat strike or propeller strike
  4. there is a possibility of mutual disease transfer while interacting with people
  5. bottlenose dolphins are large animals which can injure you. Touching and pulling the dolphin, encircling it by people or with boats, splashing on the surface and similar actions can provoke aggressive or unexpected behaviour. In many cases, solitary dolphins interacting with people for many years have at some point shown aggression towards people, resulting in severe and life-threatening injuries and even death!

We implore you to show respect towards Bobi and other bottlenose dolphins when you are nearby as the animal in front of you is large, extremely powerful and wild. Watch the dolphin from a safe distance for your own wellbeing and to avoid causing adverse effects for the dolphin. We would like to make a special appeal to the parents not to let their children swim next to Bobi as he is not a harmless toy!

Enjoy the fact bottlenose dolphins can still be found in the Adriatic and help us ensure that it remains so in the future.

Find out more about why you should not swim with dolphins or why you should not feed dolphinsandhow to behave around a dolphin group you might encounter

We invite you to share your own sightings of bottlenose dolphins and other marine organisms using the Marine Partnership app available for download here

You can also watch the documentary film on attacs of free solitary and captivity dolphins on swimmers