Australia: Man feeds wild dolphin and has to pay a huge fine

Man feeds wild dolphin and gets hefty fine

Feeding dolphins in the wild can harm the animals

© wildacad / Imago Images

It was only well intentioned: On a boat tour in Australia, a man gave food out of the hand of a wild dolphin. However, this is forbidden for good reason – and costs him dearly.

In the Australian state of Queensland, people can get up close and personal with dolphins. The fishing town of Tin Can Bay, about two and a half hours from Brisbane, the capital of Queensland, is known for this and is popular with tourists. However, one should be careful when feeding the animals. This can quickly become expensive, as a fisherman from the region found out.

Feeding the dolphins is strictly forbidden. However, the man did not follow the rules: an online video shows him hand-feeding a dolphin from a boat. Other dolphins are already approaching the boat. The environmental agency got a tip on the video and found the man. His trip with the dolphins is now costing him dearly: he has to pay a fine of 431 Australian dollars, the authority said. That’s the equivalent of more than 260 euros.

Feeding can harm dolphins’ natural hunting instincts

He even got off relatively lightly, as the maximum fine for such an offense is 11,500 Australian dollars. The man did not know that feeding was prohibited, the environmental agency reported. In fact, it is allowed to feed dolphins under supervision in certain places. Many tourists take advantage of this opportunity. However, the feedings are monitored and regulated there.

“It’s important to remember that feeding wild animals is illegal and goes against their natural hunting instincts,” the agency said. “There are risks that people should be aware of,” Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service’s Tina Ball told

Sources: Queensland Environment on Facebook / “”

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