Cruze Doubles the dose of gifts

Thu, 27 Apr 2017

By Tangalooma Island Resort

Cruze Doubles the dose of gifts

When you think of the typical 'gift', a foul smelling Sea Mullet probably isn't at the top of your wish list! But for Eco Ranger Paul, this is exactly what he received on the 6th of April, when 4 year old male dolphin Cruze caught a Sea Mullet and gifted the slimey little surprise to the Dolphin Care Team, much to the delight of onlookers.

As Cruze nudged the Sea Mullet up the beach, Eco Ranger Paul explained to guests that this gift of giving was an indication of much more than a simple gift. "This gift giving is an obvious display of the capabilities of wild dolphins and their ability to display empathy and consciousness" said Paul. "They are essentially thanking us for the nightly fish feed we offer them, and in return presenting a rare ocean commodity to us to return the favour!"

But the gift giving didn't stop there...The following night Cruze delivered yet again, offering up a rare Painted Sweetlip fish that are generally found around coral covered areas hiding out in the reef, a rare frequency of dolphin gifting for the Tangalooma Dolphin Care Team.

Over the years, Tangalooma's dedicated 'Dolphin Care Team' have received over twenty gifts from their dolphin friends, dating back to when the program began back in 1992. Some of these previous ocean gifts have varied from squid, to eels, octopus and a range of other common and rare fin fish, all extremely sought after ocean commodities.

Wild Bottlenose Dolphins are amongst some of the world's most intelligent creatures, and Cruze's recent behaviour reveals a playful affinity with the Dolphin Care Team at the resort, and a clear desire to pay thanks to the team for their nightly offerings of fish.

If you're keen to get a glimpse of these rare and intriguing gifts, you can find them preserved in a tank and on display at the Marine Education centre.

The Dolphin Feeding Programme at Tangalooma Island Resort runs nightly, 365 days of the year.

For more information on how you can experience this on a day cruise package, click here.

For more information on Dolphin Gifting, check out research paper "Gift Giving" by Wild Bottlenose Dolphins (Tursiops sp.) to Humans at a Wild Dolphin Provisioning Program, Tangalooma, Australia. By University of Queensland researchers Bonnie Holmes and David Neil.

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Tangalooma Island Resort

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