2 Swimmers Attacked by Dolphin in Japan, Suffer Minor Injuries

2 Swimmers Attacked by Dolphin in Japan, Suffer Minor Injuries
Honey, a bottlenose dolphin, is seen at the abandoned Inubosaki Marine Park Aquarium in Choshi, Japan, on Aug. 15, 2018. (PEACE/Handout via Reuters)
Aldgra Fredly

Two swimmers in Japan suffered minor injuries after being attacked by a dolphin, the latest in a series of incidents that prompted authorities to warn beachgoers against approaching the mammals.

The Fukui Coast Guard Station said Monday that it received a call at about 11:40 a.m. on Aug. 7 about a 39-year-old woman and a 50-year-old man being attacked by a dolphin at a beach in Fukui's Ayukawa district.

The woman was swimming about 15 meters offshore when a dolphin slammed her back. The dolphin bit her on her left palm and wrist when she attempted to return to the beach, The Asahi Shimbun reported, citing coast guard officials.

The second swimmer, who was not far from the woman, tried to help her by driving away the dolphin, resulting in him being bitten on the palm of his right hand and his left elbow.

The dolphin kept on poking him with its snout when he tried to return to the beach until the man kicked it away. The man required three stitches to his right hand as a result of the attack.

Japanese authorities have previously warned swimmers not to approach dolphins after receiving reports of people being bitten by the mammals.

Authorities installed warning signs saying "Never Touch Dolphins" at Koshino beach, where a number of people have been attacked by a dolphin lately. Officials also plan to install devices that emit ultrasonic sound waves on some beaches in an attempt to drive the marine mammals away from the beach, The Asahi Shimbun reported.
Tetsuya Matsuoka, manager of the Notojima Aquarium in Nanao in the neighboring Ishikawa Prefecture, said dolphins inhabit a range of waters around Japan, according to The Asahi Shimbun.

"People have this image of dolphins as cute creatures, but they are wild animals after all," said Matsuoka. "You should not go near them or touch them because they have sharp teeth."