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Japanese authorities are warning beachgoers to beware of an angry dolphin that is responsible for attacking at least six swimmers at three beaches in western Japan over the past month, the Guardian reported.

Victim accounts from the attacks on three beaches in the Fukui Prefecture on the coast of the Sea of Japan since July have led experts to conclude that it is a single adult Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphin responsible.

That dolphin was also spotted near the coast in April.

In one attack, the dolphin bit down on the arm of a 60-year-old man and attempted to force itself on top of him, pulling the man underwater. The man was saved when someone nearby drove the dolphin away.

After the first four attacks, officials installed an underwater device to emit ultrasonic waves to deter the mammals, and also instituted dolphin patrols by police. However, even after the device was installed, the dolphin attacked two more beachgoers.

Most of the attacks occurred within 30 feet from shore, a sign that dolphins are familiar with humans in shallow waters.

Dolphins have a reputation for being friendly, curious and sociable creatures. They occasionally nudge swimmers but attacks are rare. Still, many dolphins don’t like being touched on the nose or their dorsal fin.

One local café owner said dolphins had occasionally nudged swimmers. Now, he added, they are “lunging on top of them.”

Scientists suggest that wild bottlenose dolphins find swimming with humans stressful because it disrupts their behavioral routines, resulting in the attacks, BBC reported.

Similar attacks have occurred in other parts of the world. In April 2022, a 23-year-old dolphin in Miami Seaquarium, bred in captivity, attempted to drown his trainer. In Cancun, Mexico, two dolphins tried to drown a 10-year-old British girl during a ‘swimming with dolphins’ experience in 2019, by biting her and attempting to drag her underwater. She survived with cuts, bruises and bite marks.

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