Dolphin attacks hospitalise swimmers with broken bones and lacerations

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Four people have been injured after a series of dolphin attacks in the waters off a beach in Japan, according to officials.

A man in his 60s suffered bite marks to his hands and broken ribs after he was rammed in the sea adjacent to Suishohama beach in Mihama, Fukui prefecture, early this morning.

Another man, who was aged in his 40s, was bitten on the arm in another attack which occurred the same morning.

Later in the day, two more people were hurt by the large marine mammals.

Fukui has witnessed a total of six dolphin attacks so far in 2023, according to police.

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Signs have been placed in the area urging swimmers to avoid approaching or harassing the mammals.

Dolphins are not generally aggressive to humans, but hostility towards swimmers not uncommon.

Ten years ago in waters of the coast of the Republic of Ireland, two women were hurt in ten days by the same dolphin, including one who suffered a broken rib.

The following year, five Irish swimmers needed to be rescued when a dolphin encircled them aggressively.

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Dolphins are also known to turn their aggression towards other sea creatures, with footage shot in Cornwall showing a bottlenose dolphin tossing a porpoise into the air.

An article on the American Oceans website explains: “There are several reasons why dolphins may attack humans.

“One reason is that they may feel threatened or agitated by human presence.’

Dolphins are wild animals and may see humans as a potential threat to their territory or prey, the article explains.

It adds: “In some cases, dolphins may also attack humans as a form of play or amusement, which can be dangerous due to their size and strength.

“Another reason why dolphins may attack humans is that they may be protecting their young.

“Dolphin mothers are known to be fiercely protective of their babies and may attack humans if they feel that their offspring are in danger.”

Nevertheless, American Oceans stresses: “Despite the rare instances of dolphin attacks on humans, it is important to remember that these animals are not predators or killers.

“Dolphins are intelligent and social animals that are often misunderstood.

“While they can cause damage and pain, they are not inherently dangerous to humans.”

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