A Hawaiian man who refers to himself as “Dolphin Dave” has landed himself in hot water with wildlife officials for allegedly harassing a humpback whale and a family of dolphins while snorkeling.
Hawaii’s Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement, an arm of the Department of Land and Natural Resources, announced this week that 65-year-old David Jiménez was cited as harassing the animals while snorkeling inside Kealakekua Bay State Historical Park on the island of Hawaii.
Jiménez, who goes by “Dolphin Dave” has been charged with two violations: prohibited acts in regard to endangered whale species and harassing wildlife in a state park. The incident, which was captured on video, featured Jiménez allegedly “actively pursuing an adolescent humpback whale and dolphins inside Kealakekua Bay State Historical Park.”
“DOCARE officers received a video recording of a man snorkeling close enough to the adolescent humpback whale to almost touch the whale’s fin,” authorities said. “When a DOCARE officer arrived on shore early [Sunday], they recorded Jiménez actively pursuing a pod of spinner dolphins. They recorded a video, in which they say Jiménez … was leading a group chasing the dolphins.”
Despite the citation, Jiménez told officers he will not stop swimming with dolphins and whales, “because it’s magical and others do much worse things.”
Jiménez is scheduled to appear in Kona District court on May 11.