A pod of humpback dolphins that live in the waters of Queensland have been bringing treasures to the shore. The dolphins usually frequent the water near the Barnacles Cafe & Dolphin Feeding at Tin Can Bay, north of the Sunshine Coast. Here they regularly visit with the restaurant guests.
They’ve become accustomed to their human companions and are reportedly missing their presence since the COVID-related travel restrictions have left the restaurant empty.
Gifts from the deep
The highly-prized items brought as gifts for their human friends include, bottles, sea sponges and bits of coral.
Now that restrictions are slowly being eased around the country, the dolphins should soon have their friends back. In a Facebook post, the restaurant explained: “The pod has been bringing us regular gifts, showing us how much they’re missing the public interaction and attention. Since the restrictions have eased we have been able to reopen the dolphin feeding & cafe.
“Put a smile on someone’s face and come spend some time and feed these beautiful creatures, they are definitely missing you all.”
Speaking to 7NEWS Australia, Barry McGovern, an expert in dolphin behaviour, said it was possible the dolphins were bringing gifts because they missed humans, but not the most likely scenario.
“Nothing surprises me with dolphins and their behaviour anymore,” McGovern said.
“They do everything – they use tools, they have culture, they have something similar to names in signature whistles.
“In all likelihood, they probably don’t miss humans per se. They probably miss a free meal and the routine.”
“They often play with bits of weed and coral and all sorts of things and just leave it on their rostrum (nose),” he said.
“They’re used to getting fed now, so they’re used to humans coming in.
“When it’s not happening, maybe it’s just out of boredom.”