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'Aggressive' dolphin on Texas coast deemed threat to public safety, NOAA says

NOAA says the dolphin has grown accustomed to humans and has started displaying aggressive behavior.

TEXAS, USA — An aggressive dolphin on the coast of North Padre Island has become a threat to human safety and animal life, according to NOAA.

As of Monday, NOAA said the dolphin remains a concern and potential danger to both itself and people. 

"The dolphin has been placed in danger due to the extent of human interactions that are occurring, including swimming with, petting, feeding or attempting to feed it, causing it to lose its natural wariness of vessels and approaching people.  It has been observed with wounds consistent with propeller injury on more than one occasion.  NOAA is convening a team of experts to determine what options may be available to mitigate the life-threatening situation.  For now, the best outcome for the dolphin’s survival and for the safety of others is to leave the dolphin alone and avoid seeking it for interactions," the NOAA wrote. 

Biologists say the dolphin shows more aggressive behavior, including separating children from their parents in the water and isolating swimming pets from their owners.

The public has been discouraged from feeding, swimming or interacting with it for over a year.

The situation has become critical with the dolphin growing accustomed to human interaction, making it a threat to public safety.

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NOAA says the dolphin has become so used to the interactions, that it seeks out humans and boats.

The public is asked to avoid the dolphin at all costs. And that even though it may seem friendly, its behavior is unpredictable.

NOAA says dolphins can become increasingly dangerous throughout four stages. The North Padre Island dolphin is in Stage 4, which is considered the most dangerous.

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While NOAA and biologists try to determine how they can protect the dolphin, their concerns are with law enforcements plans to increase patrols in the water during Memorial Day weekend.

NOAA warns interactions with the dolphin that could change its behaviors are considered harassment and illegal under the Marine Mammal Protection Act.

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