Stinky the dolphin is lonely, and he’s getting way too frisky with humans.
The sight of the dolphin has delighted many boaters, swimmers, and divers, but his antics dismay scientists who traveled to the archipelago to study him. They say Stinky is a danger to humans, and they also worry the dolphin could hurt himself.
“He spent a fair amount of time engaging in very high-risk behavior,” said Laura Engleby, a marine mammal branch chief with the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. “There is concern for his safety.”
She noted the dolphin has a fondness for boat propellers in motion, and that he also likes to rub against anchors, channel markers and mooring buoys, cutting himself in the process.
Scientists estimate he is roughly 20 years old given his worn-down teeth and aging scars.
Michael Maes was scuba diving with his wife and a friend near Grand Cayman when he spotted Stinky. He tried to catch his wife’s attention to no avail.
“I turned my head away from her and Stinky was there, maybe 15 inches (38 centimeters) away from me,” Maes said. “His eyes (went) straight into my eyes, so I went crazy, like, ‘Hello! There’s a dolphin.’”
He began to film until his wife urged him to surface and leave Stinky alone.
“My wife, he tried to eliminate her,” Maes said. “He charged her like five times, but forcefully.”
The dolphin then tried to mate with Maes, who at one point put his back against a coral wall as he does when sharks approach.
The incident was caught on a sometimes frightening video that has been viewed nearly half a million times on YouTube.