Dolphins bring gifts to humans gone missing from coronavirus quarantine

People usually line up to feed the school of humpback dolphins at the Barnacles Café and Dolphin Feeding in Esplanade Tin Can Bay, Queensland, Australia. But because of COVID-19 lockdown, the café has been closed for weeks, which means no one was feeding the dolphins.

So the dolphins are bringing gifts of sea sponges, barnacle-encrusted bottles and pieces of coral so that the humans would return.

On May 18, 2020, the café posted this on their Facebook page:

The [dolphin] 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 an feed these beautiful creatures, they are definitely missing you all🐬

But Barry McGovern, a wet-blanket “expert” in dolphin behavior, is dubious. He told 7NEWS.com.au that it’s possible but unlikely the dolphins are trying to express that they miss humans.

McGovern, a University of Queensland PhD student, said:

“Nothing surprises me with dolphins and their behavior anymore. 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 might be displaying a play-like behavior, or just acting out of boredom.”

~Eowyn

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DCG
Admin
DCG
1 month ago

Whatever their motivation it’s still cool!

Emily Summer
Emily Summer
1 month ago

Another so called expert gives his views.

TrailDust
Admin
1 month ago

♥️

Lana
1 month ago

I don’t know why anyone would find this behavior doubtful, crows bring
trinkets/gifts to those who feed them out of appreciation. They
leave a gift for the giver.

chemtrailssuck
1 month ago

I’d vote for a dolphin for president….or a nice dog even, or a whale, or a barnacle.

Francisco Machado
Francisco Machado
1 month ago

This behavior has been displayed by humans, also. Called a cargo cult. Like the isolated Xi in “the Gods must be Crazy,” Dolphins have no way to understand humans. Just a suspicion: Humans only delude themselves into thinking they understand dolphins.

Pearl
Pearl
1 month ago

Know-it-all “experts” love to throw cold water on anything and everything that normal people find uplifting, inspiring, and beautiful. Barry McGovern should go suck an egg, because no one cares what his opinion is and he sounds like an insufferable bore.

Calgirl
Calgirl
1 month ago

Even my beloved (now passed) Fat Black Lab, when put on a diet, learned in 2 minutes flat that, if he brought us “things” to trade, we would give him “real food” to get it from him (hangers, the paper, the mail, a washcloth, whatever). These docile mammals have been conditioned through years of feeding by humans. They know where their food comes from, and they want it back. So, in a sense, even if they can’t be assigned emotional attachment by some people for this “trading behavior,” they still DO “miss” humans —or at least the human hand that… Read more »