Friendly dol­phin gets Brit­tany beach closed

The Guardian Weekly - - Shortcuts - An­gelique Chrisafis

A mayor on France’s Brit­tany coast took the rare step of ban­ning swim­ming for sev­eral days af­ter a soli­tary frisky dol­phin tried to get too close to bathers.

Roger Lars de­cided that it was safest to ban swim­ming and div­ing on the coast near Landéven­nec, where the over-friendly dol­phin had been spot­ted.

He banned any­one get­ting closer than 50 me­tres to the rut­ting three­me­tre dol­phin, whom lo­cals nick­named Za­far.

The dol­phin was not ag­gres­sive, but he had taken to try­ing to rub up against swim­mers and boats, the lo­cal paper Le Télé­gramme re­ported.

Za­far had en­thu­si­as­ti­cally si­dled up to sev­eral swim­mers who he had then pre­vented from reach­ing shore. One had to be res­cued by boat.

“Sev­eral swim­mers were very fright­ened,” the mayor told the paper Ouest-France.

Lo­cal me­dia re­ported that the swim­ming ban lifted af­ter Za­far moved away from the coast.

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