DALLAS (Reuters) – When the news broke that a giant, black-footed dolphin was attacking a man in the French Riviera resort of Cannes, people on Twitter went into shock.
“That was the first time I’ve ever seen a dolphin attack a man,” said one Twitter user, adding that the animal “could have been a real killer.”
But the dolphin’s name – the “Goblin Slayer” – has become a trending topic on the Internet.
It was a question that many people on the social media site wanted answered, so they asked for pictures of the animal.
They sent them to a scientist, who took them to the French Museum in Nice to check them out.
When the results were published on Thursday, it sparked a frenzy of discussion about the dolphin, whose name means “Gone Gonk”.
The museum, which houses some 300 specimens of prehistoric animals, says it is in the process of cataloguing more than 600 of the creatures.
But some people were not satisfied with the answer and began comparing the images with the pictures of their own animals.
The French Museum said it was investigating whether the images in question were the work of an artist or a professional.
But many people pointed out that the images were not identical, as the creature’s name was different, and they said the creature could have been more ferocious.
“The first time the name ‘Gobelin Slayer’ was used, I was in my own apartment,” one Twitter reader said.
The Museum of Natural History in Paris said it is not aware of any other cases of “Gonk” attacks on humans.
But it is urging people to keep their eyes peeled.
“We are very attentive to the evolution of our species,” said the museum’s head of collections, Jean-Pierre Pascale.
“When a new species emerges we should be aware of its characteristics, its behavior and its social relationships.”
The “Gorillast Slayer” is one of a handful of species in the genus Pongo.
The species is a relative of the giant panda, and is considered a rare hybrid between the two.