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A man has been arrested and charged with molesting a whale and her calf after beachgoers allege they saw a kitesurfer repeatedly fly too close to the mammals.

Police were called to Christies Beach in Adelaide‘s south at 10.15am on Saturday after receiving multiple reports of a man kite-surfing close to the whale.

‘Patrols spoke to witnesses, who provided photographs and a good description of the kitesurfer,’ South Australia Police said in a statement, alleging a similar incident occurred on Friday.

An Adelaide man was arrested and charged with molesting a whale and her calf after beachgoers claim they saw a kitesurfer repeatedly fly in close to the mammals. Photo taken by a witness pictured

An Adelaide man was arrested and charged with molesting a whale and her calf after beachgoers claim they saw a kitesurfer repeatedly fly in close to the mammals. Photo taken by a witness pictured

An Adelaide man was arrested and charged with molesting a whale and her calf after beachgoers claim they saw a kitesurfer repeatedly fly in close to the mammals. Photo taken by a witness pictured

A 32-year-old man from Old Reynella was charged with two counts of molestation of a protected animal and failing to keep a prescribed distance from a protected animal

A 32-year-old man from Old Reynella in southern Adelaide was charged with two counts of molestation of a protected animal and failing to keep a prescribed distance from a protected animal.

Despite the unusual title of the charge, South Australian police confirmed there was no sexual element to the man’s alleged behaviour. 

The charge relates to a 1972 law which states: ‘A person must not interfere with, harass or molest, or cause or permit the interference with, harassment or molestation of, a protected animal.’

He was bailed to appear in Christies Beach Magistrates Court on August 2.

Whales and dolphins are protected by law in South Australia.

South Australian police confirmed there was no sexual element to the man's alleged behaviour. People must keep at least 100 metres away from a whale, or 50m from a dolphin. Special restrictions apply when a calf is present

South Australian police confirmed there was no sexual element to the man's alleged behaviour. People must keep at least 100 metres away from a whale, or 50m from a dolphin. Special restrictions apply when a calf is present

South Australian police confirmed there was no sexual element to the man’s alleged behaviour. People must keep at least 100 metres away from a whale, or 50m from a dolphin. Special restrictions apply when a calf is present

South Australian government signage pictured showing how far humans must stay away from whales and other marine mammals

South Australian government signage pictured showing how far humans must stay away from whales and other marine mammals

South Australian government signage pictured showing how far humans must stay away from whales and other marine mammals

People must keep at least 100 metres away from a whale, or 50m from a dolphin. Special restrictions apply when a calf is present.

‘Never feed or harass marine mammals, it is illegal and it harms the animal,’ a police statement said.

‘If you find a sick or stranded marine mammal (including whales, seals, sea lions and dolphins) please contact your local National Parks and Wildlife Service office or marine wildlife rescue organisation.’

Source: dailymail

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