Alex Hayes had a close encounter with the solitary dolphin, which has been hanging around the northern beaches. Source: Supplied
TEENAGER Alex Hayes had a close encounter with this dolphin while swimming at Clontarf.
He and his mum Helen were at the harbour beach near Clontarf Reserve on Wednesday afternoon when the dolphin came up to them and about a dozen other swimmers.
The teen spent the next three hours swimming with the dolphin, and capturing the moment on film.
“Oh my god. It was amazing. It was such a good experience,” he said.
“It just kept coming back. It was just once in a lifetime. It was such an amazing creature.”
The dolphin is understood to be the solitary dolphin, which has been spotted around Pittwater and the northern beaches.
Alex Hayes playing with a dolphin at Clontarf Picture: Supplied Source: Supplied
Organisations such as Marine Mammal Research and ORRCA have raised concerns the animal is not linking up with other dolphins.
Mrs Hayes said they to were concerned about the dolphin’s welfare.
“Most of us are worried as to why he is alone,” she said.
“I think he thinks humans are his pod, which is a bit of a worry.”
Alex Hayes with a dolphin at Clontarf. Source: Supplied
MMR, which has been tracking the dolphin for about a year, has warned the public to keep their distance from the dolphin.
The organisation website states that engaging with the dolphin “may be hazardous to both the dolphin and humans.”
The dolphin could attack or bite a person, MMR states, and interaction with humans could make it less inclined to join a dolphin pod.
Alex Hayes playing with a dolphin at Clontarf Picture: Supplied Source:
MMR said people were not heeding their warnings, with reports someone even roped the animal at Sussex Inlet, trying to be towed by it.
MMR researcher Michelle Blewitt said the dolphin could potentially kill or seriously injure someone if it were provoked.
“It can turn from a happy, smiling dolphin to a an aggressive, wild animal, which it is,” she said.
“They kill sharks, so they can definitely kill a human.”
She understood people interacting with the dolphin was almost inevitable, but said authorities may have to act if warnings go unheeded.
Anyone who sees the dolphin is asked to call MMR on 0431 465 073.