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Dolphin gives visitors gifts from the bottom of the ocean in return for food during lockdown



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A dolphin has been giving visitors gifts from the bottom of the ocean during Covid-19 lockdown.

Mystique the 29-year-old humpback has presented staff at the Barnacles Cafe & Dolphin Feeding centre with treasures from the sea on Queensland’s Cooloola Coast.

The male mammal gives coral, shells, bottles and wood in return for tasty bits of fish.

According to ABC, staff said Mystique was not trained to do this but since he saw fewer visitors during the pandemic he was keen to keep up human contact.

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“He gets under it [and] if he drops it too far out, or we say ‘come on, that’s not good enough’, then he gets underneath it and brings it to us,” said Lyn McPherson, a volunteer feeder.

“We swear he has a collection waiting to bring to us.”

The volunteers said the dolphin has been training staff to give fish in return (Barnacles Cafe & Dolphin Feeding Centre)

She added: “What we have to do is give him a fish in return.

“We haven’t trained him, but he has trained us to do this.”

He hangs about in a group of seven dolphins (Barnacles Cafe & Dolphin Feeding Centre)

Mystique swims with a pod of seven dolphins but is the only one to search for presents.

Another friend often goes along with him however to cash in on the fishy rewards.

The presents vary from timbre and coral to bottles and shells (Barnacles Cafe & Dolphin Feeding Centre)

On average around 200 people visit the attraction every day but it had to shut down due to the pandemic. The centre reopened again to the public on May 16.

Mystique first swam to the area in 1991 with his mother.

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He is easy to spot as he has a chunk missing from his dorsal fin after a bull shark attack in 2007.

Staff said he is also quite boisterous and he has been seen fighting with some of the other males on occasions.

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