A dolphin has developed a relationship with humans on the shore and now brings gifts that he finds at the bottom of the ocean, realising that humans have a happy response when he does so.
Mystique the humpback dolphin just goes to show how dolphins are not only one of the smartest creatures in the ocean but on the planet, as he’s developed a bond with human beings through using verbal and gestural signs.
The aquatic mammal enjoys delighting volunteers at the Barnacles Dolphin Centre in Queensland’s Tin Can Bay, as he can go to the bottom of the ocean and find them ‘gifts’. The gifts vary from vibrant coral to shells and even ancient bottles that time had forgotten. As he has brought so many findings back from the ocean, the dolphin has been branded a treasure hunter. In return for his wondrous ocean treasures, Mystique is given plenty of yummy fish.
The 29-year-old male dolphin is missing the attention he receives due to the coronavirus lockdown meaning there’s no guests or volunteers. The centre has been closed as of March 25.
A Barnacles Cafe & Dolphin Feeding spokesperson told Bored Panda: “Mystique is doing well, keeping the pod in line, but it’s quite clear that he is missing the attention from the public, he has been a big show-off the past few weeks.”
However, when the centre opens up once again, the staff believe it won’t be long before Mystique gets back to showing off and using his bribing techniques. The staff have clocked on that he brings things to humans as he knows “when he brings something in that he will get lots of praise and attention, then a fish to say thank you.”
They added: “[He is] very intelligent and gentle soul, but is also slightly mischievous.”
Apparently, Mystique is the only dolphin in his pod that has figured out that if he delivers gifts, he will be rewarded with a present of his own.
During the lockdown, Mystique has even upped the number of treasures he delivers – perhaps not understanding where everybody has gone.
Staff explained: “He brings us in all sorts of things like planks of wood, corals, old glass bottles, sea sponges, and rocks, ranging in all sorts of shapes and sizes.
“He had always brought us gifts, but only since the lockdown closure has he been bringing in multiple gifts each morning.”