On June 17th, the BBC will debut a new documentary, The Girl Who Talked to Dolphins. It's the story of Margaret Howe Lovatt, who in the 1960s took part in a NASA-funded research project, in which she developed an unusual relationship with a dolphin named Peter. A relationship that at times became sexual.
The emotional attachment between humans and animals is well documented. Like any animal and human who spend long amounts of time together, a dolphin trainer could say they "love" their dolphin, but this does not excuse nor open the door for zoophilia or delphinophilia. While I am a dolphin enthusiast, I am also a firm believer that humans and dolphins should not have sex.
Investigating the case of Margaret Howe Lovatt and Peter the dolphin, it was a relationship that started out of a logistical problem. In 1964, Lovatt was working on an experiment to try to teach Peter how to communicate with humans. (A dolphin to human translator is still in the works today.) She literally moved in with him for three months, sleeping next to the tank, and working on a desk that hung over the water where he swam. They spent a great deal of time together, and as Peter was a sexually maturing adolescent dolphin, he often had sexual urges at inconvenient times.