Four people injured by dolphins at Japanese beach

Four people have been injured in a series of dolphin attacks at Suishohama Beach in Mihama, Fukui Prefecture, Japan.

Officials in the Fukui region have already documented six attacks this year, prompting concern.

Among the victims, a man in his 60s endured severe injuries, including broken ribs and hand bites, when a dolphin aggressively confronted him just metres from the shoreline early on Sunday 16th July 2023.

The man was swimming about 16 feet (5 meters) from Suishohama Beach when a dolphin rammed into him and delivered the bites.

Later in the morning, another man in his 40s had his arm bitten by a dolphin in a separate incident at the same beach.

Two more people were injured by dolphins later in the day.

Authorities have erected prominent signs advising swimmers to maintain a safe distance from the dolphins, emphasising the importance of responsible wildlife interaction.

This marks the second consecutive year in which dolphins have caused harm to humans on Fukui prefecture’s beaches along the Sea of Japan coast.

Last year witnessed a series of attacks attributed to an Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops aduncus). One victim required 14 stitches to mend a deep gash inflicted by a bite.

Venturing closer to the shoreline is unusual behaviour for dolphins and local authorities are actively investigating the reasons behind these unexpected dolphin-human interactions.