Hawaiian man nicknamed 'Dolphin Dave' accused of harassing humpback whale

A 65-year-old man from Maui has been cited for harassing wildlife after videos emerged of him swimming close to a humpback whale and pursuing a pod of dolphins on March 5 and 6, (Credit: Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources)

A Hawaiian man known as "Dolphin Dave" is facing charges after he allegedly harassed wildlife in a state park.

The Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources said 65-year-old David Jiménez of Maui was cited Monday morning at Kealakekua Bay on Hawai‘i Island.

This comes after the department's Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement received numerous calls reporting alleged wildlife harassment. 

Wildlife officials said Jiménez was allegedly actively pursuing an adolescent humpback whale and dolphins inside Kealakekua Bay State Historical Park.

A video recording of a man snorkeling close enough to the adolescent humpback whale to almost touch the whale’s fin was given to authorities Sunday. 


When officers arrived at shore Monday, they recorded Jiménez "actively pursuing a pod of spinner dolphins." They say Jiménez was leading a group chasing the dolphins. 

Both whales and dolphins are protected by state and federal laws.

According to the Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources,Jiménez refers to himself as "Dolphin Dave," on Facebook, and told their officers he’s not going to stop swimming with whales and dolphins, "because it’s magical and others do much worse things."

Jiménez was cited with the harassing wildlife in a state park and performing prohibited acts in regard to endangered whale species. He was summoned to appear in court on May 11.

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