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Swimmers are being warned to stay clear of a dolphin that appears to want to play with humans because he could become "sexually aggressive".
Locals in Cornwall have named a seemingly friendly bottlenose dolphin Nick after he was first spotted in harbours across the county last year.
Nick won admirers this summer when he appeared to come right up to a group of swimmers and paddleboarders and play with them in the water in Hayle Harbour earlier in August.
But experts warn that the animal may be sexually confused, and this could become dangerous.
TV naturalist Chris Packham told The Sun: "Dolphins play with interesting things in the water and this can include people.
"They can get sexually aggressive and there is a chance this dolphin could be loved-up and confused.
"Imagine you got lost and ended up in the middle of a herd of elephants.
"It would be pretty confusing. That’s like Nick, surrounded by people – but dolphins are immensely powerful and therefore dangerous."
Another expert claimed last week that Nick would administer a slap with his tail so hard that it would "feel like being punched in the face by a boxer".
Dan Jarvis, a Hayle resident and member of British Divers Marine Life Rescue (BDMLR), said that despite the fun around such a beautiful creature interacting with humans, it is still a wild animal and needs to be respected.
"The dolphin wasn’t necessarily in distress, but as it engaged with the group and got excitable, you could see it was becoming erratic, there was the potential for injury," Mr Jarvis said.
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"It was splashing its tail quite vigorously. If that hits you, that’s going to feel like being punched in the face by a boxer.
"These animals are to be treated with caution. They will do some really unexpected and unusual things."
Nick, Mr Jarvis explained, has developed into what’s known as a "social solitary" dolphin – one which prefers to flit around playing with people and boats, instead of moving in a pod of other dolphins.
Nick had originally been spotted in the Isles of Scilly last year and then moved away for most of the past 12 months.
Having returned to Cornwall in recent weeks, Nick has made a few visits to Cornish harbours – including Newquay, St Ives, Carbis Bay, and then Hayle.
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