A woman swimmer in New Zealand had to be rescued from the sea after an excessively playful dolphin refused to let her return to shore, a report said.
The exhausted woman was hanging on like grim death to a buoy offshore from the beach at Mahia on the east coast of the North Island as the dolphin swam around her and prevented her returning to shore, the Gisborne Herald reported.
But the woman, who did not want to be named, said there was nothing sinister about the behavior of the dolphin named Moko, which has become a local celebrity since taking up residence at the beach more than two years ago.
The dolphin regularly seeks out swimmers and people in boats to play with.
“I’ve spent quite a bit of time swimming with Moko and I’m a strong swimmer, so I wasn’t worried at first,” she said.
“We were playing around for a while but then when I wanted to go back in, he just wanted to keep playing. I became exhausted and started to panic.
“The reality set in that I was out in the ocean with a wild animal and no people around, so I felt quite vulnerable.”
People on the beach heard the woman screaming and took a row boat out to rescue her.
“When we got out there she had wrapped herself around the buoy and was absolutely freezing, she was freezing to death,” local bar manager Juanita Symes said of the woman, who was wearing a wetsuit to ward off the winter cold.
“She was completely exhausted. If we had left her any longer, she would have run out of energy.”
Moko’s fame reached new heights in March last year when a conservation worker trying to rescue two pygmy whales trapped between a sandbar and the beach at Mahia saw Moko approach the pair and guide them through a narrow gap to the open sea.
They may have had a reputation for trade, braids and fearsome raids, but the Vikings were far from a single group of flaxen-haired, sea-faring Scandinavians. A genetic study of Viking-age human remains has not only confirmed that Vikings from different parts of Scandinavia set sail for different parts of the world, but has revealed that dark hair was more common among Vikings than Danes today. What’s more, while some were born Vikings, others adopted the culture — or perhaps had it thrust upon them. “Vikings were not restricted to blond Scandinavians,” said Eske Willerslev, a co-author of the research from
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