The general opinion of dolphins is pretty positive. There are certainly exceptions, but that’s certainly the “usual” view – seen, for example, as opposed to the typical view of sharks. Now, I’m not saying I love sharks, but I do think it’s possible that dolphins are just more PR/media conscious than sharks are.
For example, there are a host of lovely stories of how dolphins have saved swimmers from drowning. That’s all well and good, but it’s not like they save everybody – people still drown. And it’s just possible that the dolphins are out there savagely attacking and killing people – they’re just smart enough to do it when nobody’s filming them, and they’re smart enough to spare one now and then. The dolphins could cleanly kill ninety-nine out of a hundred drowning people, and still come out of it smelling like roses; well, they probably smell like fish or something, but you know what I mean.
I’m not sure what this means, exactly, or what good this realization does for me (aside from probably making me more nervous on my next visit to Marine-Super-Fun-Park or whatever. Maybe I can get in touch with some kind of shark spokesperson (spokes-shark?) and hire myself on as a consultant. If you see footage of a shark gently carrying somebody to shore, and of that person’s tearful reunion with their photogenic offspring, think of me.