(August 11, 2020) --

Dolphins associating people with food can put them in danger of being entangled in fishing line/hooks. (Courtesy: Carmichael Lab, DISL)

Many people see dolphins as cute, friendly, and docile, but they are wild animals. Wild dolphins should NEVER be fed, swam with, touched, or harassed. This type of behavior is not helpful to dolphins, and it is against the law. 

While most people have no intention to harm dolphins, they may not realize the negative consequences of their actions. Feeding wild dolphins can reduce their fear of humans and put them in danger.  Dolphins can also bite and injure humans.

When people interact with wild dolphins, the dolphins: 
•    Learn to beg for food, endangering both themselves and the humans feeding them.
•    Swim too close to boats and dangerous propellers.
•    Get entangled in fishing line or swallow hooks.

Dolphins getting too close to boats can be injured by the propellers. (Courtesy: Carmichael Lab, DISL)

You can help keep wild dolphins wild by observing them from a distance of at least 50 yards and avoiding approaching or interacting with them. 

To learn more about how you can help, visit www.dontfeedwilddolphins.com and the Dauphin Island Sea Lab’s Marine Mammal Research Program.  

Be sure to report any sick, injured, and/or deceased marine mammals in Alabama to the 24/7 ALMMSN Stranding Hotline 1-877-WHALE-HELP (942-5343).