LONDON (Reuters) - Two men were arrested Saturday on suspicion of harassing a dolphin known locally as “Dave” off the Kent coast in southeast England, police said.
Officers arrested the men, aged 25 and 26, at dawn after numerous emergency calls from the public that the animal was being harassed off the coast at Sandgate in Folkstone.
The dolphin has become a local tourist attraction over the past year after making his home in the waters off the Sandgate shore.
Enthusiasts have created a website with pictures and videos of the creature, www.sandgatedolphin.co.uk.
But it has also attracted unwelcome attention from jet skiers and sailors, prompting Kent Police’s Maritime Unit to warn offenders they face fines and even prison.
Kent Police Inspector Gavin Roy said people should not try to touch the animal or get within 100 yards of it.
“Dolphins are well-loved and friendly toward humans,” he said. “They are protected by law and should be treated with respect.”