A dolphin swims in Orange County's Bolsa Chica wetlands in Huntington Beach, Calif., on Friday, April 27, 2012.
Apparently it happens to Flipper too: A local expert on sea mammals says the dolphin swimming circles for the past few days in the Bolsa Chica wetlands near Huntington Beach is the victim of bullying.
The 500-pound bottlenose already tried once to leave the wetlands and head for open waters, according to several reports -- but a pod of other bottlenoses at the mouth of the harbor at Sunset Beach forced him back in.
So now he’s stuck there, and experts -- including biologists from NOAA, who arrived on the scene this morning -- are inclined to leave him alone for now. They say he has enough food and space, and moving him could do more harm than good.
Other experts agree with that strategy. One “veteran sea mammal wrangler” named Peter Wallerstein told reporters that the gang of jerks in the harbor could land the dolphin’s “death blow.”
Wallerstein informed a CBS news crew -- he talks to anyone who will listen -- that “I’m not a dolphin psychologist. I don’t know what is going on in their minds, but there was some definite bullying there.”
Meanwhile, the 7-footer continues to draw a crowd. He’s even been given a few nicknames -- NBC listed a couple: “Bolsa Chica Bob” and “Fred.” (Do you have any better nicknames for the stranded dolphin? Tell us in the comments section below.)
Dolphins are known to be highly social and cognitive, with intelligence at least equal to other great apes -- making them capable of human-like antisocial behavior. They just don’t make movies about it.
Speaking of, here’s a home movie of the poor guy swimming in circles: