So in my adventures I generally come across very odd happenings with animals(see opossums and rattlesnakes for more info,) more often then not my travel buddies and I like to give wild animals plenty of comfortable personal space for some pretty obvious reasons. Of course there are always those couple of people in a group who decide the best thing for them to do is to hang out as close as possible to the wild animal, this is a terrible idea and here is a story of why:
When Brian and I were living in New Orleans we had some friends who lived on the North Shore. The place where they lived was right on the river (is that what you call it?) where a Dolphin liked to hang out by their docks. This dolphin also liked to follow them Jet Skiing and generally just like to play in the wake of the boats. D and L called it their guest because he loved to hang out at their docks more than anywhere else and gave him plenty of space to play with.
Now, as I said there are always one or two people in every group who decide they want to play with the wild animals and generally these are the same people also like to get OUT of the car with your CHILDREN to take a picture with the SUPER cute Bear cubs. Because that’s responsible, right? Anyway, the first Fourth of July I had in New Orleans we went to D&L’s house. I was so nervous about going I could barely talk on the way there and when we got to the house I was shocked at how HUGE it seamed to be, just sitting there on the water. We promptly parked the truck and walked into the party where things seemed to be a whole new level of relaxed. No one knows how to relax like people from the deep south. With in minutes of entering the party we had Watermelon-Jalapeno Mojitos in hand and we walked out onto the dock so we could jump into the water, anyone who knows the deep south understands how utterly hot and humidly miserable it can get in July. With in 20 minutes of swimming we finally had company.
Now, my first response was to get out of the water. I had no problem dangling my legs over the edge of the dock, after all what are the chances of the dolphin jumping out of the water to grab one of my legs when he has no previous history of violence? This thought process of course did not extend to me getting into the water with the dolphin and when I was invited to go swim with the dolphin I politely declined. The two guests of the party jumped in and swam out. As they were swimming we saw the fin dip in and out of the water and then disappear completely, that’s when we heard them get nervous.
“Where is it?”
“I don’t know!”
“OMG IT BUMPED ME!”
Quickly they started to panic, the guy who swam out gave out a yell and then started moving as quickly to shore as he could, leaving his lady-friend in the dust as they both got to the docks in shock. He held up his arm to reveal that the Dolphin had actually bit him and it looked nasty. Dolphin teeth are sharp, long and fairly needle like, least to say they can pack a punch even when used on accident. After all Sharks are incredibly curious and as they have no hands they rely on nibbles to figure out what certain things are, nibbles for them are a limb for us, fortunately for W the dolphin was kind enough to give a warning. As cute as they are Dolphins can be violent if they feel you are a threat to them or their pod.
In the end we got W bandaged up and the dolphin stuck around for about 15 minutes before getting bored and harassing some other boaters in the area, one little girl was sitting in front of her dad on a Jetski screamed with excitement at the sight of a dolphin following them.
Least to say the guy was okay, thank goodness, and the lesson was learned.