ST. PETERSBURG (FOX 13) - Video of a dolphin seeming to "beg" for food might appear cute, but it's actually a disturbing effect of people feeding the animals, putting them in danger of harm by fishermen, or starvation.
Owner of See Through Adventures, Mark Freels captured video while out on an excursion with some visitors.
The begging dolphin swims back and forth under the canoe, sticking its snout out of the water as if to ask to be fed.
This behavior could be a sign fisherman have given unwanted fish to the dolphins, causing the animal to expect food when they see boats.
This could lead to starvation if a dolphin stops hunting for its own food. It could also lead to other fishermen being bothered by the dolphin's presence, and taking steps to make it go away. People dropping firecrackers into the water to scare dolphins have been reported in the past.
It's a reminder to Bay Area residents and visitors alike to not feed, touch or otherwise interfere with dolphins or any wildlife.