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Last Updated: Tuesday, 7 August 2007, 09:06 GMT 10:06 UK
Dolphin Dave 'becoming a danger'
Dave the dolphin
Hundreds of people have approached Dave the dolphin
A dolphin that has been swimming off the Kent coast for the past year has become so humanised that he now poses a danger to people, police have said.

Police have been told of hundreds of people approaching the dolphin, named Dave, despite advice to avoid him.

In one case, a man was seen trying to put his child on Dave's back for a dolphin ride, a spokesman said.

He said the child would have been "at considerable risk" if Dave had headed for deeper water.

'Risk of injury'

Kent Police said there have been reports that Dave, who lives in the Channel off Sandgate, has even stopped people from leaving the water.

The spokesman said: "In similar cases, dolphins like Dave start to display their dominance and that is when there is a likelihood of injury to both the dolphin and humans."

The force has also received reports of small craft getting close to Dave because his fear has diminished, which increases the chance of the dolphin being struck by a boat or a propeller.

Marine patrols are taking place over the next few days and police said action will be taken against anyone approaching the dolphin.


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