Dolphins in Australia are now bringing gifts ashore because they are believed to be missing interactions with humans during this coronavirus pandemic.
Most of the time, people line up to feed the school of humpback dolphins that are living at the Barnacles Café in Australia, but due to the COVID-19 lockdown measures, it has been weeks since people visited them.
As a result, they are bringing bottles and corals ashore as gifts.
Volunteers that are looking after the animals are bringing gifts ashore because they could be missing human interaction due to the coronavirus pandemic keeping tourists and locals away from them.
Volunteers that are looking after the animals during this pandemic said that the animals have increased the display of unusual generosity behavior.
The café wrote a post on Facebook and talked about how the pandemic has affected the dolphins.
The post said:
The pod has been bringing us regular gifts, showing us how much they’re missing the public interaction and attention. They are definitely missing you all.
The dolphins are bringing up sea sponges, barnacle-encrusted bottles, and pieces of corals to the volunteers.
The animals have displayed this kind of behavior before, said a volunteer.
However since the coronavirus lockdown, actions like these have increased.
Barry McGovern, an expert in dolphin behavior, talked about this unusual activity during an interview with 7News Australia.
Barry said that it is possible the dolphins are trying to express that they are missing humans.
McGovern, who is a Ph.D. student at the University of Queensland, said:
Nothing surprises me with dolphins and their behaviour 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. He speculated it may be a “play-like behaviour”. They often play with bits of weed and coral and all sorts of things and just leave it on their rostrum (nose). 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.
Let us all hope this coronavirus pandemic could end so humans could interact with humans again.