Did you know feeding wild dolphins is illegal, and can be harmful to both dolphins and humans?
Dolphins are hunters in the wild. When fed by humans they may replace natural hunting behavior with begging for food. Dolphins are intelligent animals and, like most humans, might find accepting a free handout easier than working for a meal. This has occurred with wild dolphins in several areas with a history of providing free handouts from humans.
Aside from dangers to dolphins associated with behavioral changes, brought on by begging, there are nutritional concerns. Humans tend to offer whatever is available on their boat, including everything from hot dogs and potato chips to rotten fish left out in the sun. Wild dolphins cannot survive without a proper diet.
Feeding dolphins is dangerous for humans because it can cause dolphins to become aggressive. Dolphins have bitten, and in one case killed, when they were teased with food.
Illegal dolphin feeding is a routine problem in the Southeast, even though the Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1993 prohibits feeding wild marine.
If you love dolphins, observe them from a distance and respect them!
To view a recent public service announcement about dolphin feeding go to http://www.dontfeedwilddolphins.org/