Bad Moko. Bad dolphin. Go home now.

Image from Otago Daily Times

Image from Otago Daily Times

Have you heard about Moko the dolphin? Moko is a three-year-old bottlenose dolphin from New Zealand that gained fame in March last year, when he rescued two pygmy sperm whales. Moko guided them though a narrow channel to safety. Now, Moko is a local resident at Mahia Beach in New Zealand. Children come to play with the dolphin in the summertime.

In the wintertime…, it gets lonely on the beach, so Moko turns into a bad dolphin, and strands the swimmers unawares saying “play with me, person”! That’s BAD, Moko. Go home now.

Dolphins gone bad? Jeez, what’s next? My cute and cuddly computer turns on me? Nooo!

Peter Etnoyer (397 Posts)

PhD candidate at Texas A&M University- Corpus Christi and doctoral fellow Harte Research Institute for Gulf of Mexico Studies.

11 Replies to “Bad Moko. Bad dolphin. Go home now.”

  1. Kia ora. I live in Gisborne close to where Moko resides and I have to tell you: some of the bloody people ask to get stranded when they play with Moko.

    Many, many times through radio and newspaper people are warned time and time again to leave Moko alone. He’s not a circus ride you can go and pay twenty cents to and have your two minutes of fun. The Department of Conservation has repeatedly informed people it’s dangerous to play with Moko; not just for the people, but for him as well.

    Just as comedian Rhys Darby said regarding another dolphin who was rumoured to have been killed by man years ago in New Zealand: “The kids had something to play with – the adults had something to look at… then some dick-features goes and blows the whole thing up!”

    Dick-features? I’d put my money on it.

  2. I always wanted to swim with one before I died, but too much money in the USA.

    Found today in Daily Mail:
    ‘Over-playful’ wild dolphin refuses to allow exhausted woman swimmer back to shore

    By Mail Foreign Service
    Last updated at 10:00 PM on 27th July 2009

    A swimmer was rescued exhausted and freezing after a playful dolphin refused to let her return to the shore.

  3. Totally hilarious. A friend of mine had his ribs broken by a playful dolphin in Panama. I’d love to swim with a dolphin, even if it did drag me 60′ under, y’know, just for fun.

  4. We visit mahia every year. Our local friend there told us (2 years ago)of moko being overplayful and not allowing them back to their boat leaving them exhausted. Another friend told us how moko pushed there canoe back to sea when they tried to leave… and another that was tugged by their flippers when underwater. He is very playful.. be aware

  5. moko isint mean he just loves to play if you dont want him to take your board then dont take one because you know whats going to happen

  6. moko is the most funnest dolphin you can ever play with if you say he is mean dont go to where he is dont foget he is lonly or dont take a boggie board if you dont like him dont tell anyone your fealings because it might hurt other people

  7. In mid Jan 2010 Moko moved to the Eastern Bay of Plenty and into the Whakatane Harbour following our dolphin watching boat from Whale Island.
    Since then he has frequented the Whakatane harbour, Otarawairere Bay and Westend Beach, Ohope. Very popular and very friendly he constantly entertains crowds with his playful nature, so far without any major incident.

  8. Moko was nothing more than a trusting, playful fun-loving animal with a kind heart that was shown many times by helping save pygmy whales and giving fish as gifts. People forgot that he was a wild creature that sought us out to interact with. We should be very thankful for the experience and the opportunity to have another species who so desperately wanted to reach out to us in spite of the fact that it was very dangerous for him to do so. Once again humans let him down and so he has paid the ultimate price. We don’t deserve the trust and honesty that these other species show us at times – no wonder most of them are normally so scared of us.

  9. Poor Moko. I just read his story. A juvenile male, he was no doubt looking for a pod, missing his own, wanting some buddies. Making do with humans just led him astray. But in his short life, he did help other cetaceans, and people, too. So, so sad that he didn’t have a pod.

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