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Young woman had sex with dolphin who ‘killed himself’ when they were torn apart

A young woman had a sexual relationship with a “naughty” dolphin who later seemed to commit suicide when their affair came to an end.

Margaret Howe Lovatt was a young girl who convinced NASA to grant her funding for a NASA-funded project that would allow her to communicate with dolphins.

The idea was that – given that dolphins have brains that are at least as large as ours – we could develop techniques for communicating with extraterrestrials by learning how the intelligent species “talk” to each other.

Margaret, 20 years old, charmed Gregory Bateson to let her work with John Lilly, a dolphin neuroscientist on St Thomas in the Caribbean.

Margaret claimed that there were three dolphins named Peter, Pamela, and Sissy.

Margaret Howe Lovatt had loved animals since she was a little girl.
Margaret and Peter became particularly close

“Sissy was the biggest,” she later said.

“Pushy, loud, she sort of ran the show. Pamela was very shy and fearful. And Peter was a young guy. He was sexually coming of age and a bit naughty.”

Peter and Margaret developed a unique bond. He became jealous if she spent too much time with the other dolphins and the feeling was, at least to an extent, mutual.

“That relationship of having to be together sort of turned into really enjoying being together, and wanting to be together, and missing him when he wasn’t there,” Margaret told the BBC.

Peter, more than his two companions, became quite skilled at forming English words by forcing air through his blowhole, although some words were more difficult than others.

“‘M’ was very difficult,” she recalled. “My name. Hello ‘M’argaret. I worked on the ‘M’ sound and he eventually rolled over to bubble it through the water. That ‘M’, he worked on so hard.”

Margaret had loved animals since she was a little girl
Margaret had loved animals since she was a little girl

Peter and Margaret became more and more close, and the closeness became physical: “He was very, very interested in my anatomy. If I was sitting here and my legs were in the water, he would come up and look at the back of my knee for a long time. He wanted to know how that thing worked and I was so charmed by it.”

According to a notorious profile published in Hustler magazine, Lovatt took to giving Peter sexual relief whenever he became too sexually aroused to participate in her experiments.

“It was just easier to incorporate that and let it happen,” she said. “It was very precious, it was very gentle.

“Peter knew I was right there, Peter was right there … again it was sexual on his part, it was not sexual on mine — sensuous perhaps.

“It would just become part of what was going on, like an itch, just get rid of that, scratch it and we’ll be done and move on.”

In the early Sixties, Margaret Lovatt talked her way into becoming part of a NASA-funded project to communicate with dolphins.
Decades later she told the BBC her interactions with Peter were ‘not sexual …sensuous perhaps’

“It seemed to me,” she added “that it made the bond closer. Not because of the sexual activity, but because of the lack of having to keep breaking.

“And that’s really all it was. I was there to get to know Peter. That was part of Peter,” she explained.

“[The sex] wasn’t private” she went on “People could observe it.”

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Peter was heartbroken when the experiment ended and he was separated from Margaret
Peter was heartbroken when the experiment ended and he was separated from Margaret

But eventually NASA sent a young astronomer, Carl Sagan, to report on the progress John Lilly was making and soon after that the agency pulled the plug on the experiments.

And that spelled the end for Margaret and Peter’s strange relationship.

Peter drowned shortly after being separated form Lovatt in what appeared like a suicide.

To breathe, dolphins must be brought to the surface often. Peter seemed to purposely stay underwater until he drowned.

It’s not an isolated event. Ric O’Barry from animal rights organisation The Dolphin Project explained: “Dolphins are not automatic air-breathers like we are. Every breath is a conscious effort.

“If life becomes too unbearable, the dolphins just take a breath and they sink to the bottom. They don’t take the next breath.”

Life was apparently too unbearable for Peter.

“He wasn’t going to be unhappy, he was just gone,” said Margaret. “And that was OK.”

Young woman had sex with dolphin who 'killed himself' when they were torn apart
Anurag Reddy
I'm a 29-year-old travel enthusiast, travel and nature photographer, Computer Science graduate, and Mass Communication student. I have seen different shades of life through traveling and lived different lives through reading. With every word I write, I travel within, and I understand myself better. Writing helps me discover myself, and that paved roads for me to choose writing as a profession.


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