A lonely, horny dolphin nicknamed Zafar has prompted a beach-wide ban in northwestern France after making one too many sexual advances on unsuspecting swimmers. Visitors to Landévennec, a commune on Brittany’s sandy coast, were at first charmed by the friendly dolphin as he happily allowed swimmers to tag along on his dorsal fin and popped up to surprise children next to their boats. But as he became more and more aggressive, Landévennec mayor Roger Lars was forced to issue a decree.

“Swimming and diving are banned on the village shoreline… whenever the presence of the dolphin is confirmed,” Lars said, according to The Telegraph. The ban is rooted in fears that Zafar’s incessant horniness might result in injury. Already, he’s been caught lifting a woman up with his nose, humping boats, and preventing another woman from getting back to shore, reports Le Telegramme. But not everyone agrees the ban is necessary: Erwan Le Cornec, a Landévennec lawyer that enjoyed swimming with Zafar, has been vocal in his opposition to the ban, noting to Le Telegramme that there have been no accidents between dolphins and humans and that people should simply stay away from Zafar if they are bad swimmers.

The debate remains contentious, but what is clear is that Zafar’s behavior is not normal. “This is indeed unusual behavior for a wild bottlenose dolphin,” Janet Mann, Ph.D., a professor of biology and psychology at Georgetown University, tells Inverse. Perhaps Zafar’s frustrating predicament is not his own fault but ours.

Rade de Brest
The coast of nearby Plougastel-Daoulas, where Zafar had also passed through.

“There are instances of dolphins in captivity behaving in this manner,” Mann continues. “Without knowing more about the dolphin’s history (with humans and other dolphins), it is hard to interpret why he would target humans this way. For example, were people swimming with and perhaps feeding Zafar?”

Landevennec
Landévennec's ban on swimming with Zafar was lifted on Monday after he moved on to more welcoming waters.

Numerous accounts of people swimming alongside Zafar, Le Cornec included, make it impossible to deny that he’s had plenty of human contact. His previous experiences with other dolphins, however, are not as clear. According to Elizabeth Hawkins, lead researcher with Dolphin Research Australia, Zafar’s behavior suggests he’s a “social solitary dolphin” — one that’s previously been part of a social circle but was for some reason kicked out. As such, he may just be horny for social contact and may simply be trying to get it where he’s become most comfortable — around friendly humans and boats.

“It’s been observed that dolphins and different whale species will rub themselves against objects with what appears to be some type of sexual satisfaction coming about,” Hawkins told The Washington Post.

bottlenose dolphin
It's not easy being alone. 

The ban was lifted Monday, according to France’s The Local, as it appears that Zafar, like all of us in our loneliest moments, has moved on to different shores in search of love.

No matter where he ends up, the threat he poses — if he poses one at all — will likely be over soon. “As the breeding season is spring-summer everywhere bottlenose dolphins have been studied,” says Mann, “this behavior is likely to pass once the water cools (and there are fewer swimmers).” Better luck next year, Zafar.