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Last Updated: Tuesday October 16 2007 12:12 GMT

Friendly dolphin suffers injury

Dave the dolphin

A playful bottlenose dolphin that's been swimming off the south coast of England for the past year has had part of her tail cut off in an accident.

The dolphin called Dave, who's actually a girl, is thought to have been injured in a collision with a boat propeller.

Dave became a bit of a local celeb by playing with swimmers and boats, but animal welfare groups are worried that people are getting too close to her.

They're urging people to stay away so Dave doesn't risk another injury.

Vets are trying to catch up with Dave so they can give her some medicine to help her tail to heal.

Dave the dolphin's damaged tail fin
Dave's tail fin will never grow back
Mark Simmonds, from the Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society, said Dave's injury followed the death of two other friendly dolphins in UK waters last year.

"We really must learn to treat these animals with more respect," he said.

"We are currently just killing them with kindness by first taming them and then not looking after the tamed animals."

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