The town of Henchley in East Somerset has reported a rise in the number of dolphins on the streets as the human population remain indoors during lock-down.
The dolphins, which arrived on Saturday in a number of ramshackle vans and lorries, have settled in a number of locations which were previously the sole reserve of Henchley’s human inhabitants including the local pub, the sports centre and town park.
Henchley Mayor, Jim Hook said, “they had a car boot sale on Sunday. Chucking out time at the pub has become very rowdy too. We’re happy the dolphins have chosen to come to Henchley during the Coronavirus crisis, but we are a bit worried about the number of knackered old vans they’ve parked in local fields.”
Local police have attempted to move the dolphins on but to no avail. “Without the right permits they can’t settle here,” Chief Constable Douridge said, “on the other hand, we can’t chuck them out of Henchley without the help of local authorities and there’s a lot of paperwork involved. Now is not the time to worry about it.”
A local resident’s group have set up an online Facebook group in which many are calling for the dolphin issue to be tackled. “It’s outrageous,” one member wrote, “we’re all stuck in our houses but, as usual, it’s a different rule for the dolphins. They always come rolling in at this time of year but the police are usually good in moving them on.”
Chief Constable Douridge responded, “the lock-down means our resources are busy elsewhere, so the dolphins are a long way down the list. We advise residents to focus on staying at home and let us work on a solution in the meantime.”
A spokesman for the dolphins said, “we’ve every right to be here. This is a free country and we pay our taxes like everyone else. We don’t nick stuff or cause any trouble. Why shouldn’t we be allowed to stay here?”
Local Farmer, Pete Nesbitt, who owns the land on which many of the dolphins have parked vehicles and set up fish markets said, “that’s all well and good, but they’re trashing the place. They don’t have any thought for anyone but themselves.”