Other Pets

The sad story of a dolphin who died of love for a woman

Dolphins are fascinating animals.

So much so that it is an animal that almost everyone loves.

But perhaps what many do not know is that these animals are capable of falling in love with humans. Incredible, isn’t it?

However, that’s how it is! Today, we tell you the story of a dolphin who died of love for a woman.

peter and margaret lovatt

Story of a dolphin who died of love for a woman

It all started with an experiment

An experiment on the communicative abilities of dolphins was the trigger for this sad story.

The neurologist John Lilly, a pioneer in dolphin research, launched a project aimed at demonstrating the communicative abilities of dolphins by trying to make them understand our language.

Dolphins are animals capable of making a large number of sounds: whistles, clicks and frequency modulated sounds that they use to communicate with each other.

And these sounds are produced in a very similar way to how we use our vocal cords.

Well, it was 1964 when Lilly decided to teach these cetaceans to speak like humans. The key, as the neurologist suggested, was to use the same mechanisms used by children to assimilate language.

Sounds interesting, doesn’t it? In fact, it was so interesting that the project was funded by NASA, so he in a laboratory in the Virgin Islands that was named “Dolphin House“.

The Dolphin House was created especially for this experiment and was a semi-sunken laboratory, covered with water, so that the chosen dolphin, named Peter, could swim.

But it also had a dry part, so that Margaret, Lilly’s collaborator who conducted the experiment, could rest.

Thus, both could coexist in such a way that the dolphin maintained permanent contact with the language, as occurs with children.

As time went on, Peter began to learn to speak, even pronouncing words such as “hello”, “one” or “ball”.

But, unpredictably, the dolphin fell in love.

Initially, the experiment proceeded normally.

However, something changed unexpectedly and Peter began to behave in an unexpected way, courting Margaret.

Peter began to gently nibble Margaret’s legs.

But everything started to escalate, Peter’s behavior became more and more aggressive…. To such an extent that Margaret had to defend herself.

The dolphin wanted to be with Margaret. The teacher herself went so far as to explain that Peter liked to rub against her legs or her hands.

And when the animal’s impulses prevented the experiment from proceeding, she opted to give the animal pleasure.

Margaret didn’t see it as a sexual act, just another part of Peter. Something like an itch that had to be scratched to make it go away and to be able to continue with the lessons. This is how he explained it.

However, the veterinarian who cared for Peter claimed that “the dolphin was madly in love with her“.

The experiment turned into a scandal

An adult content magazine brought the story to light by telling it from a sexual perspective. And that is how this experiment, upon seeing the public light, became a scandal.

The controversy led to the suspension of funding for the project and Peter was moved to another location in Miami.

Shortly thereafter, the dolphin committed suicide. Yes, just as you read it, Peter voluntarily stopped breathing, that’s how he committed suicide.

The breathing of dolphins is different from that of humans, they do not breathe automatically, but consciously.

Each breath is an effort that the dolphin makes consciously. And veterinarians assure that, if life becomes difficult, the dolphin may stop breathing.

Shortly thereafter, the dolphin committed suicide, voluntarily stopping breathing. Dolphins do not have automatic breathing like humans, but must make an effort to maintain this action.

This is how this unusual love story ended. In a tragic and sad way.