A pod of dolphins in Australia has been bringing gifts from the sea to the shore – apparently because they miss interacting with humans during the coronavirus pandemic. The humpback dolphins usually mingle with visitors at Barnacles Cafe and Dolphin Feeding at Tin Can Bay, Queensland. However, with the coronavirus pandemic keeping tourists away, the pod has taken to bringing an array of items – from corals to sea shells – for volunteers at the feeding centre.
“One male dolphin brings in objects on his rostrum, or beak, and then he carefully presents them to us,” said volunteer Lyn McPherson to ABC News, talking about 29-year-old male dolphin Mystique. “What we have to do is give him a fish in return.
“We haven’t trained him, but he has trained us to do this.”
The items that the dolphins bring back include bottles, corals, sea shells, bits of timber and wood, among other things. According to Ms McPherson, Mystique sometimes brings back 10 items a day to the shore, convincing volunteers that he has a stash of gifts hidden away.
“The pod has been bringing us regular gifts, showing us how much they’re missing the public interaction and attention,” wrote Barnacles Cafe and Dolphin Feeding in a Facebook post, sharing photos of the sociable dolphins presenting their gifts.
The photos have received a lot of love on the social media platform, collecting over 1,400 ‘likes’ and a ton of comments.
“How precious. Wish I lived closer,” wrote one person in the comments section, while another said, “Aww my heart is melting.”
Dolphins are highly sociable mammals and widely regarded as one of the most intelligent animals.
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