The dolphins off Southern California, apparently, are not ready to give up the spotlight to migrating gray whales just yet. The accompanying footage shows an enormous pod of common dolphins in what’s sometimes referred to as stampede behavior, which is when several sub-pods get together for a massive romp across the ocean.
The rare footage, which includes underwater looks, was captured Sunday by Capt. Dave’s Dolphin and Whale Safari off Dana Point with the dolphins stampeding “like a herd of wild horses.”
“This has happened twice recently though it is very rare,” states Capt. David Anderson in the video description. “The line of wild dolphins could be seen from miles away churning up the water and, to the delight of whale watching passengers, the dolphins turned and stampeded directly over to the boat.”
After a similar phenomenon last February, filmed by Dana Wharf Whale Watch, there was a public outcry stemming from a presumption that the vessel was running over the dolphins. Though the footage (posted below) may have provided this perception, no dolphins were struck by the vessel. In fact, common dolphins are famous for charging toward boats and swimming in their wakes, though typically in much smaller numbers.
There have been no documented cases of a whale-watching boat ever striking the far swifter and agile mammals.
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