Friday, March 07, 2008
Bottlenose dolphins - part of the Indian Ocean, too
The species is commonly known for its friendly character and curiosity towards humans immersed in or near water. It is not uncommon for a diver to be investigated by a group of them.
Occasionally, dolphins have rescued injured divers by raising them to the surface, a behaviour they also show towards injured members of their own species. Such accounts have earned them the nickname of "Man's best friend of the sea".
In November 2004, a more dramatic report of dolphin intervention came from New Zealand. Four lifeguards, swimming 100 m (328 ft) off the coast near Whangarei, were reportedly approached by a 3 m (10 ft) Great White Shark. A group of Bottlenose Dolphins, apparently sensing danger to the swimmers, herded them together and tightly surrounded them for forty minutes, preventing an attack from the shark, as they returned to shore.