Tourists ordered out of the ocean after unusual attacks

As humans continue to take over wild spaces, animals appear to be fighting back.

Tourists are being warned to use caution when visiting a popular Japanese beach after a series of unusual dolphin attacks on humans.

Video from July 17 shows a fin rise above the water and slam into an elderly man in a red swimming cap. He winces in pain and then shifts gears from a slow breaststroke to freestyle.

"A dolphin bit my arm, but it wasn't really serious, it was more playful. I realised I needed to be calm and head towards shore,” he told local media.

Two images of a Japanese man in a red cap. In one he has his mouth open. In the other there is a large dolphin fin behind him.
This man was one of several tourists injured by dolphins at a Japanese beach. Source: CBC News

Dolphin campaigner's advice to tourists

He was lucky to walk out of the water relatively unscathed. A day earlier a 60-year-old man was seriously injured, and suffered broken ribs. Several other men were also mildly harmed while swimming.

Reflecting on the dolphin’s behaviour, Japanese animal rights campaigner Ren Yabuki told Yahoo News Australia that it’s important for humans to remember that when they enter the ocean is “the dolphin’s home”.

While many swimmers think of dolphins as being playful creatures they see in captivity, in the wild they are not under our command. “Dolphins and sharks sometimes attack in the sea. It’s no surprise,” the Life Investigation Agency founder said.

Is it just dolphins who are attacking humans?

The dolphin attacks are just the latest reminder to humans to remember they’re sharing their space with other creatures. Off the coast of Spain, orcas have attacked and sunk several boats — a situation some experts believe is because they’re frustrated by their noise.

Over in Australia, tourist behaviour has been blamed for several high-profile crocodile attacks in Far North Queensland and a spate of dingo incidents on K’gari (formerly Fraser Island).

Over 130 high-risk dingo incidents have been reported on the island this year. Problems have arisen because of growing tourist numbers, some of who ignore the rules and feed the dingoes or get up close for selfies, robbing the animals of their natural fear of humans.

Three images showing a French tourist being bitten on the bum by a dingo.
In June, a French tourist was bitten on the bum by a dingo. Source: DES

Animals have fewer spaces to live in peace

Humane Society International’s Nicola Beynon is urging travellers to remember that there are fewer wild spaces for native animals to exist because of development and this is stressing them out.

It can be hard for wildlife to “live in peace”, particularly in areas where tourists want to get close to wildlife. She told Yahoo, “It’s easy to get carried away when viewing a majestic animal in the wild, especially for the first time. But we need to be aware that the mere presence of humans near many wild animals will cause them stress.”

She believes wild animals shouldn’t be blamed for their natural behaviours and that it’s generally our responsibility to control our own behaviour to minimise harm. “The immense privilege of being able to view wildlife like — dingoes, dolphins and whales — in their natural environment also comes with immense responsibility.”

Do you have a story tip? Email:

You can also follow us on Facebook, Instagram, TikTok and Twitter and download the Yahoo News app from the App Store or Google Play.