Daylight Day 70: When Good Dolphins Go Bad

Pi came into my room. “You’re one of us, aren’t you Bell? You don’t want to be left behind, do you?” Ed and four Dads shadowed him. I ran.


If you thought humans were the only species vulnerable to EMO, you’re wrong.

This is a genuine news story.

Angry Dolphin Bullies Swimmers Off NZ Coast

An aggressive four-year-old bottlenose dolphin has been accused of bullying swimmers and waterskiers in New Zealand.

Rescue services had to be called after the animal’s intimidating behaviour prevented six people from swimming back to shore in separate incidents in the past week.

Moko, who weighs some 250kg and used to live off Mahia on New Zealand’s east coast, was initially praised for his friendly nature.

But since making Gisborne his home in September he has trapped swimmers, overturned kayaks, tipped over waterskiers, and interfered with surf lifesaving training.

Marine Science expert Professor Mark Orams has compared Moko’s personality change to humans going through puberty.

“He’s doing what we all do as teenagers,” he said.

“He’s testing his boundaries, but he’s testing them on humans – and humans are coming off second best.”

However, he expressed sympathy for the animal.

“Here you’ve got a very lonely bottlenose who loves human contact, but he’s getting way too big and strong for it,” he said.

The expert said he was worried the situation would get worse, with either Moko being hurt or causing major injuries.

In one incident last month the dolphin stole a 16-year-old boy’s surfboard while the boy was 500m offshore.

The mammal’s dangerous behaviour has become so bad authorities plan to send out text alerts to Gisborne residents warning them to be careful during the New Zealand summer.

Olympic kayaking double gold medallist and surf lifesaving instructor Alan Thompson said reports of Moko’s behaviour were exaggerated.

He told The New Zealand Herald: “If you don’t like the way he plays, then don’t go out in the water.”

Published by Felicity Banks Books

I write books (mainly adventure fantasy for kids and young adults), real-time twittertales, and a blog of Daily Awesomeness. @Louise_Curtis_ and My fantasy ebook is on sale at

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: