A solitary dolphin who has spent the past five days swimming in California wetlands while the rest of its pod swim back towards ocean may be the victim of bullying.
The animal at the Bolsa Chica wetlands in Southern California had been seen last week with other dolphins.
However when it went to leave the nature reserve, two other dolphins reportedly emerged, apparently blocking its path back towards the ocean
Director of Marine Animal Rescue Peter Wallerstein told the Los Angeles Times that dolphins ‘can be very aggressive towards each other. They’re not the sweet, loving, gentle animals portrayed by the movies and the cartoons. They do have a dark side.’
Experts believe the dolphin is able to leave the wetlands, but is choosing not to.
On Saturday, Mr Wallerstein and officers from the State Department of Fish and Game used paddle boards to shoo the dolphin back towards the ocean.
However when two other dolphins emerged and seemed to block its path, the dolphin dove under the boards and swam back to the wetlands, leading to the suspicion of bullying.
The mammal is being monitored although experts will not interfere while the dolphin is healthy.
Onlookers have been giving the mammal nicknames including ‘Bolsa Chica Bob’ and ‘Fred’.