Amorous dolphin forces bathers ashore in Finistère

Mayor of Breton town issues swimming ban as lovey-dovey dolphin causes chaos off coast

An overly amorous dolphin has prompted the mayor of a coastal town in Finistère to ban swimming in the sea.

The dolphin, which has been named Zafar, is well-known in the Plougastel-Daoulas area - and has even become something of a mascot to kayakers and other water sports enthusiasts.

But as it enters mating season, the animal has moved further down the coast to Landévennec, a small town famous for its abbey - where it has been butting up alongside boats and chasing swimmers.

The powerful sea mammal even lifted one bather with its nose, Landévennec mayor Roger Lars told Ouest-France.

The swimmer struggled to get out of the water and had to be rescued, he added.

The mayor's decision to ban swimming has been welcomed by experts at marine wildlife centre Océanopolis, in Brest, who warned that bathers should "never get too close to a marine mammal at full sexual maturity".

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