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(Okay, I changed the headline, but the article is real.)

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Reuters) — A pod of dolphins circled protectively round a group of New Zealand swimmers to fend off an attack by a great white shark, media reported on Tuesday.

Lifesavers Rob Howes, his 15-year-old daughter Niccy, Karina Cooper and Helen Slade were swimming 100 metres (300 feet) off Ocean Beach near Whangarei on New Zealand’s North Island when the dolphins herded them — apparently to protect them from a shark.

“They started to herd us up, they pushed all four of us together by doing tight circles around us,” Howes told the New Zealand Press Association (NZPA).

Howes tried to drift away from the group, but two of the bigger dolphins herded him back just as he spotted a three-meter (nine feet) great white shark swimming towards the group.

“I just recoiled. It was only about 2 meters (6 feet) away from me, the water was crystal clear and it was as clear as the nose on my face,” Howes said.

“They had corralled us up to protect us,” he said.

The lifesavers spent the next 40 minutes surrounded by the dolphins before they could safely swim back to shore.

The incident happened on October 30, but the lifesavers kept the story to themselves until now.

Environment group Orca Research said dolphins attacked sharks to protect themselves and their young, so their actions in protecting the lifesavers was understandable.

“They could have sensed the danger to the swimmers and taken action to protect them,” Orca’s Ingrid Visser told NZPA.


Snide Remark Guy Expounded Thusly:

Or maybe they were waiting for leftovers?

Tuesday, November 23rd, 2004 • 2:06pm • Permalink

Steve Expounded Thusly:

Fantastic. I’ve never heard of such a thing. What are these “dolphins”? What do they look like? Are they new? Can I buy some to protect me from car accidents?

Tuesday, November 23rd, 2004 • 2:43pm • Permalink

Rodney Expounded Thusly:

I think he means the Miami Dolphins. And, I hear you can buy one for a night, but they aren’t cheap.

Tuesday, November 23rd, 2004 • 3:21pm • Permalink

Steve Expounded Thusly:

Now why would I want to buy a Miami Dolphin for just one night? What could I possibly do with— OH.

Oh, I see.

Never mind.

Wednesday, November 24th, 2004 • 2:03am • Permalink

That Guy Expounded Thusly:

Feed, clothe and protect them, and maybe read to them.

Did you have something else in mind?

Wednesday, November 24th, 2004 • 12:09pm • Permalink


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