Dolphin Camping Out Near Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve May Have Been Bullied by Pod

Animal rescue specialists and state officials in Orange County who attempted to force a dolphin living in the Bolsa Chica channel to rejoin his pod in Huntington Harbour have decided to temporarily abandon their efforts after "Bolsa Chica Bob" was blocked from leaving the area by his fellow dolphins.

"He was scared, he was intimidated, he was bullied," said Peter Wallerstein of Marine Animal Rescue. "There could be tension among the dolphin pod and dolphins can be very aggressive, even among themselves."

Dennis Kelly, who chairs the Marine Science department at Orange Coast College, interpreted the other dolphins' actions differently.

"Maybe the others are angry," he told the OC Register. "'You're lagging behind, you moron.' Maybe they were going whack it. 'You're not paying attention. Slap! OK, we're leaving.'"

Though he noted that he'd never heard of dolphins swimming this far into a bay, the abundance of sardines means Bob can stick around as long as he wants. "He proved he can get out if he wants to," said Wallenstein. "There are no red flags. I'm not concerned."

[photo via AP]