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Apparently not even dolphins are safe from the bullying epidemic.
A lone dolphin who has spent the past five days swimming in California wetlands while the rest of its pod returned to the ocean may be a victim of bullying, according to wildlife experts.
The 7-foot, 700 pound marine mammal has been lingering in a shallow channel in the Bolsa Chica wetlands in Huntington Beach, California.
When rescue crews on paddleboards tried to guide it back the open ocean on Saturday, two other dolphins appeared and blocked its path. At that point, it dove under the paddleboards and swam back to the wetlands.
“He was scared, he was intimidated, he was bullied,” Peter Wallerstein, director of Marine Animal Rescue told the Los Angeles Times.
As a result, experts have decided to respect the dolphin's decision to stay behind from the rest of its group. Tests have shown the mammal is healthy with a regular heartbeat and it has been seen feeding on fish.
Wallerstein said that forcing it to move could be a “death blow,” and “the last thing we want to do is force a confrontation.”
Perhaps there's also a parenting lesson here?
While the dolphin may be a social outcast within his own species, he's become quite popular among the two-legged crowd. Flocks of people have gathered to watch, and are currently in the process of picking a name for the new celebrity.
Top contenders - the incredibly underwhelming "Bolsa Chica Bob" or "Fred."
Megan Sayers is the managing editor for ModernMom. Follow her on Twitter @MeganSayers