London: Can animals fall in love with humans? They do, but in the case of a female animal researcher the chemistry between her and a male dolphin was well beyond just love.
In a new BBC documentary titled "The Girl Who Talked to Dolphins", Margaret Howe Lovatt has explained what happened when she tried to teach a bottlenose dolphin named Peter how to speak English during a NASA funded experiment in 1965.
Lovatt, then 23, was stationed on the US Virgin Islands with a male dolphin where the two of them would eat, bathe and sleep together.
Peter apparently fell in love with her.
Lovatt realised the sea mammal was becoming sexually aroused by her, a report in NY Daily News said.
"Peter liked to be with me. He would rub himself on my knee, my foot or my hand and I allowed that," she was quoted as saying.
"It would just become part of what was going on, like an itch, just get rid of that scratch and we would be done and move on," Lovatt added.
The two did not have sexual intercourse, though Howe admitted the relationship was "sensual" for her.
The BBC documentary is slated for premiere on BBC4 June 17.