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Andrea the sociable Dolphin

In the waters between Rimini and Ravenna last summer/autumn may swimmers and divers encountered a lone but highly sociable dolphin. The dolphin, christened Andrea (a male name in Italian) by the local press, is known to come up to humans and allow close contact – an unforgettable experience for those lucky enough to have seen him.

There is a danger, though, not for the humans who come into contact with the dolphin, but rather for the dolphin itself. The phenomena of the Lone Sociable Dolphin has been studied at great length, and experts are consistently worried that prolonged contact with humans can reduce a dolphin’s capacity to survive in the wild.

Andrea was rarely sighted during the winter, primarily because few people go out swimming or boating during the colder months – but now he’s been sighted again, and the Rimini port authorities and coast guard have issued a series of guidelines for bathers and boat excursions to ensure both their safety and that of the friendly dolphin:

Avoid physical contact with the dolphin – try to keep a distance of around 100m

Do not feed the Dolphin – doing so reduces his autonomy, and places his future in the wild at risk

If the Dolphin appears to be eating or resting, stay away. Both these activities are crucial, and should not be disturbed or disrupted.

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