Warning friendly dolphin spotted off British coast could kill or be killed

An adorable moment a bottlenose dolphin was seen frolicking with beach-goers off the British coast has come with a warning.

The wonderful moment the animal was seen enjoying the company of humans in the water has been met with a cause for concern.

The dolphin, known as Nick, followed a boat into Hayle Harbour on Sunday in Cornwall.

He joined in with a group of swimmers who were already in the water, writes CornwallLive.

Nick swamp, splashed, and leaped around with his new companions with some saying it was a "once in a lifetime" moment for the swimmers.

The animal was only inches away from them and appeared to behave like a pet and was playing with them.

However, the heartwarming sight has been said to be lucky, with marine experts warning he could have inadvertently caused a tragedy.

Dan Jarvis, member of British Divers Marine Life Rescue (BDMLR) said Nick is still a wild animal and needs respect.

“The dolphin wasn’t necessarily in distress,” Mr Jarvis said, “but as it engaged with the group and got excitable, you could see it was becoming erratic, there was the potential for injury.

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“It was splashing its tail quite vigorously. If that hits you, that’s going to feel like being punched in the face by a boxer.

“These animals are to be treated with caution. They will do some really unexpected and unusual things.”

He explained Nick is known as a 'social solitary' dolphin who prefers to play with people and boats over moving in a pod with his kind.

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Previous sightings of these types of dolphins have injured people in the past, and in some cases, lead to fatal consequences.

Mr Jarvis added it's not understood why dolphins suddenly seek human company, and behaviours can develop after they associate themselves more, but can also act in ways unexpected.

The expert has urged caution if they spot Nick or another dolphin acting in a similar way again.

Especially as they could pass on potentially fatal salmonella bacteria to humans as well.

He advised, although exciting as the moment may be, to maintain a distance and if possible to get out of the water.

And if you see a dolphin or other similar marine life, you should report it to the local marine life authority.

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