Lifestyle

Rare display of baby love

Resident Tin Can Bay dolphins Mystique and Ella’s newborn calf Squirt gave visitors and volunteers at Barnacle Dolphin Centre a rare and unforgettable experience at dolphin feeding times at Norman Pt this week.
Resident Tin Can Bay dolphins Mystique and Ella’s newborn calf Squirt gave visitors and volunteers at Barnacle Dolphin Centre a rare and unforgettable experience at dolphin feeding times at Norman Pt this week. Carolyn Smith

A RARE display of trust from a pod of dolphins is giving Tin Can Bay locals and visitors an unforgettable experience.

A dolphin calf, less than two months old, has arrived most mornings at the feeding point near Norman Pt boat ramp.

It's being brought to shore by its father Mystique, a regular at dolphin feeding, and mother Ella, who has been accompanying Mystique since pairing up.

Named Squirt by dolphin centre volunteers, the baby has been making daily public appearances at dolphin feeding along with Patch and another of Mystique's offspring called Aussie.

Closely watched over by its mother, Squirt appears to have no fear of humans and volunteers are overwhelmed by the unique experience.

They said stepping into the water with five dolphins in the wild was an experience of a lifetime.

Fishermen witness birth

Barnacles Dolphin Centre co-ordinator Di Andrews said Tin Can Bay fishermen witnessed the dolphin calf's birth on March 23.

The fishermen reported the rare sighting to volunteers that day and about a fortnight later Squirt was swimming around Dolphin Cove - the name given to an inlet of Snapper Creek near the Norman Pt boat ramp where public dolphin feeding is carried out every morning.

"When Squirt first came in he was messing around and someone called him a little squirt," Mrs Andrews said.

"Normally (dolphin parents) would bring their calf in to show it off and then take it away for a couple of months before we saw it again.

"This is what we experienced with Mystique's other offspring, Aussie, who is three years old. Normally they wouldn't bring the babies all the way into shore, but Ella has been bringing Squirt back each day.

"It's absolutely beautiful to see."

So far this week Ella and Squirt have only missed one day.

Mystique is a mature male dolphin that has been interacting with locals and visitors his entire life.

He learned this behaviour from his mother, Scarry, who was a regular visitor.

She has not been seen since 2004.

Dolphin visitors also include Aussie and Harmony - son and daughter of Mystique - which are fourth-generation feeders at Tin Can Bay.

Patch, a female pod member, also still visits and is sometimes accompanied by Valentine.

This pod of Indo-Pacific humpbacked dolphin is listed as a rare species in Queensland and feeding is regulated by Queensland Government laws with the set time of 8am. Mrs Andrews advises to turn up at 7am or phone Barnacles on 5486 4899 to confirm times.

Gympie Times

Topics:  dolphin tin can bay


Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Bluesfest director: Nobody knows why Neil Young cancelled on us

Neil Young  (Photo by Rich Fury/Invision/AP)

Director of Bluesfest seemingly throws some shade at Neil Young

Pacific Hwy fully reopens after truck inferno

Emergency services cleaning up the remains of a truck fire that erupted on the Pacific Hwy northbound near Watsons Ln. February 20, 2017.

Pacific Highway fully reopen after truck fire

'I didn't even know what a mum was': Celeb on Byron cult

Former The Bachelor Australia contestant Keira Maguire.

Keira Maguire reveals her past to I'm A Celebrity camp mate

Local Partners

Byron woman should be jailed for eight years: Prosecutors

SARA Connor escaped a recommendation of guilty of murder, as prosecutors submitting said there was no intention to murder and that the crime came from a fight.

Sir Elton John coming to Mackay: What you need to know

Sir Elton will come to Mackay and Cairns in September.

Tickets to the concert go on sale on March 14

MAJOR ANNOUNCEMENT: Global superstar to rock Mackay in 2017

A major concert is set to rock Mackay this year.

Mackay, Cairns to host world's biggest superstars Sir Elton John

The Waifs announce second Northern Rivers show

25 YEARS: ARIA award-winning band The Waifs returns Bangalow with two shows.

Ironbark is their new album, celebrating the band's 25th anniversary

MOVIE REVIEW: Trainspotting sequel as good as original

DIRECTOR Danny Boyle puts on a masterclass in how to use a 20-year gap between movies to your advantage.

How Karl Stefanovic's wife, kids found out about girlfriend

Karl Stefanovic and Jasmine Yarbrough after their day on Sydney Harbour. Picture: Jonathan Ng

Pictures splashed across tabloid were shock to family

WATCH: Toowoomba opera hopeful's incredible voice

Kaitlyn Orange attends Opera Queensland auditions at Empire Theatres for Opera at Jimbour, Saturday, February 18, 2017.

Opera hopefuls vie for parts in performance at Jimbour House

MKR turns spiteful in suddendeath elimination

Alyse and Matt battled Josh and Amy in a spiteful elimination cook-off.

Bottom of the ladder faces off in spiteful sudden-death cook-off.

Jilted Married At First Sight groom rejected again

Is Married at First Sight groom's second chance over already?

Sir Elton John coming to Mackay: What you need to know

Sir Elton will come to Mackay and Cairns in September.

Tickets to the concert go on sale on March 14

MAJOR ANNOUNCEMENT: Global superstar to rock Mackay in 2017

A major concert is set to rock Mackay this year.

Mackay, Cairns to host world's biggest superstars Sir Elton John

Popular island resort sells to loaded international investor

OUR PICK: Chris Foey's colourful shot of one of Gladstone's great tourism hot spots, Heron Island.

International investor snaps up piece of Gladstone paradise.

Potential home buyers punished for doing the 'right thing'

Should I go to university or buy a house?

What $11.9m can get you on Coast's most exclusive street

29-31 Wyuna Drive Noosaville Qld 4566

This is what a cool $11.9m can get you

How a first home buyer built house with no deposit

NEARLY THERE: Construction on the first house to home orphans at Umoja began in January.



Photo Contributed

His home will be completed later this year.

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!