Rogue Dolphin Menaces New Orleans
"He's Not Disney World"
Hurricane Katrina brought more than just disaster to New Orleans. It also turned a cute bottlenosed dolphin into a neighborhood menace, one which is now terrorizing a lake near the Big Easy.
An upscale neighborhood in the town of Slidell, Louisiana, just outside New Orleans has been warned to stay away from a rogue dolphin currently residing in Lake Pontchartain.
The dolphin, the sole remainder of a pod that drifted into the lake during Hurricane Katrina, has bitten at least three people and officials are worried it will only get worse.
"He's like a friendly neighborhood dog, but the dog will bite," said the manager of the local homeowner's association. "He's a wild animal and you have to treat him like he's a wild animal and not jump on him, not go swimming with him. He's not Disney World."
Read: Dog Rescued by Dolphins
However, officials from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA) say the dolphin may have been goaded into its current behavior by pestering humans.
"We observed people encircling and corralling the dolphin with their jet-skis and boats," said NOAA dolphin conservationist Stacey Horstman. "They were also reaching out to grab his fins and flippers."
Horstman advises people to not seek out the dolphin, to stay near the shore and to get out of the water as soon as he's spotted.
One Slidell resident however has a simpler idea.
"Maybe they should find him a girlfriend," he said.