One two-year-old female bottlenose dolphin in Sydney, Australia, has been seeking out swimmers and surfers to have a little fun. One paddler even caught her flirtatious antics on film as she poked and prodded swimmers to play with her on Monday morning.
This unique situation all began about 18 months ago when the poor girl got separated from her pod by a sandbank in an inlet. With the help of local rangers, she was finally freed. However, she unfortunately was never able to rejoin her pod. She has been hanging around the area of Sydney ever since and was even transported once already to the open ocean in May 2013 to keep her away from shore and in the wild.
It has only been in the recent weeks that the dolphin has begun to reach out to some new playmates. Showing up near swimmers, surfers, and paddlers at multiple beaches. She is easily recognized by a nick on her dorsal fin.
Peter Bergman, a National Parks and Wildlife service ranger, seems surprised by her behaviors saying, “She is an attention seeker … She goes out of her way to swim with people. She will come right up to them.”
As an intelligent and social animal, she may just be looking for companionship while out in the coastal waters of Sydney all by herself. Or perhaps she just finds all the beach goers hilarious and great fun to fool around with. Whatever the reason, this two-year-old dolphin is one funny, friendly lady.
As much fun as she looks like she’s having, there is concern that if she has too much interaction with people, she will end up in captivity. Between people trying to act out their “Flipper” fantasy and the typical human reaction to touch and feed the dolphin, chances are high that she will end up getting hurt or become too dependent on humans.
So while ranger services hope to keep interaction low to ensure her stay in the wild, they can’t stop her from searching for fun.
Between her friendliness and popularity, it’s a surprise she hasn’t been given a name yet by the locals in the Sydney area. However, if she keeps showing up to play with local swimmers, it’s only a matter of time before she does get a name.
For now though, enjoy watching the delight this dolphin gets while swimming circles around some visiting humans in the video below!