Loneliness from self-isolation can be nerve-racking, even for dolphins in Australia’s Queensland who now miss interacting with humans at their feeding grounds and are learning new skills to woo them back. Humpback dolphins the biggest attraction for visitors at Barnacles Cafe and Dolphin Feeding at Tin Can Bay, Queensland are not happy with the deserted beaches over the coronavirus pandemic and to invite human interaction are bringing gifts from the sea to the shore.
Volunteers at the café reportedly told ABC News that a 29-year-old male dolphin Mystique is getting objects lost to the sea or washed from beaches by waves in their beak or rostrum and presenting it to them. They are in return rewarding them with fish. “We haven’t trained him, but he has trained us to do this.” Said the volunteer.
Bernacles café is posting pictures of these dolphin bringing objects from the sea as small presents. “The pod has been bringing us regular gifts, showing us how much they’re missing the public interaction and attention,” said the café with the pictures. The café owners also mentioned that they have reopened that café and are awaiting footfall as are the dolphins.
The items that the dolphins bring back include seashells, corals, bottles, bits of timber, and wood, among other things.
The Queensland government eased restrictions on May 15, 2020, onwards to ensure businesses can reopen in a way that increases business activity but does not compromise the health of customers, staff, and the community.
In Queensland, humpback dolphins are thought to be coastally obligate and found within 20 km from the mainland coast. Dolphins here are incredibly social, loves to mingle with visitors, and are smart enough to reciprocate to human behavior.