A dolphin is delighting bathers in northern Germany, but authorities are warning people not to get too close.

The mammal appeared in the Kieler Foerde inlet several days ago and has been swimming in and out of the Kiel Canal, a busy waterway that connects the Baltic Sea to the North Sea.

Bathers have been swimming out to touch the dolphin, but police are warning that the animal may feel harassed by this and that swimmers mustn't get in the way of ships using the canal.

Kiel police spokesman Oliver Pohl said Tuesday that dolphins have been visiting the Kieler Foerde for a number of years, but he couldn't say if it was the same individual each time.