Injured baby dolphin ‘seeks help’ from Turkish beachgoers
ÇANAKKALE – Anadolu AgencyA baby bottlenose dolphin with an injured eye which approached and played with vacationers on a Turkish beach in the country’s western Gallipoli peninsula was most probably seeking help, an expert has suggested.
Vacationers on the Hamzaköy beach in the western province of Çanakkale noticed a large sea animal approaching the shore at midday on July 6 and opted to leave the water and return to the beach after mistaking the creature for a shark.
As the animal approached, however, people realized it was in fact a baby dolphin which had sustained an injury to its eye.
The animal, which was identified as a “Tursiops Truncatus,” widely known as the common bottlenose dolphin, interacted and played with the vacationers, attracting attention from nearby beachgoers.
“This dolphin is the type which best interacts with humans. It is used in therapies for citizens with disabilities,” Prof. Sezginer Tuncer from the marine biology department of Çanakkale Onsekiz Mart University told state-run Anadolu Agency.
Tuncer said bottlenose dolphins are common in Turkish waters, especially in the northern Black Sea, and this one could have arrived in Gallipoli due to strong currents around the straits.
The academic also said the dolphin probably approached humans as a plea for help, regardless of its playfulness.
“He [the injured dolphin] wanted to join in with people swimming in the sea. This is natural. It is in fact asking for help. It belongs to a kind [of Tursiops Truncatus] which thinks it would die after losing a limb. In this regard, it could have preferred death, trying to commit suicide by trying to wash [itself] ashore,” Tuncer said, adding such incidents have taken place before.