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‘Bullied’ dolphin hiding from pushy pod, officials say

A lone dolphin has spent the past several days residing in a California coastal bay after several reports suggest it was "bullied" by a pod of fellow dolphins that were blocking its return to the open sea.

"He was scared, he was intimidated, he was bullied," Peter Wallerstein of the Marine Animal Rescue told the Los Angeles Times.

At first, wildlife officials tried encouraging "Bolsa Chica Bob" to return to sea. But when the dolphin, who is nicknamed after the section of wetlands he has been taking shelter in, tried returning to the ocean he was met by two other dolphins who blocked his path.

"There could be tension among the dolphin pod, and dolphins can be very aggressive, even among themselves," Wallerstein said.

Now, Wallerstein says officials are no longer pressuring the 7-foot dolphin to leave the bay, saying there is an ample supply of fish available should he choose to make the area his permanent home.

"We're being very cautious about forcing it into harm's way," he said.

However, not everyone is convinced that the dolphin is actually being bullied.

"Maybe the others are angry," Dennis Kelly, chairman of the Marine Science department at Orange Coast College, told the Orange County Register.

"'You're lagging behind, you moron.' Maybe they were going whack it. 'You're not paying attention. Slap! OK, we're leaving.'"

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