The bond between Uncle and Nephew

The last few weeks have been particularly busy at Barnacles Dolphin Feeding Centre with Easter, QLD school holidays followed by NSW school holidays.


Like humans, dolphins form bonds with each other. We see this with the eight dolphins that come into the centre and it is heart warming to witness. The bond between seven-year-old “Uncle” Joe and six-year-old “Nephew” Luna is particularly special. These two juveniles, offspring of mum and daughter team Ella and Aussie, have been coming into “Dolphin Cove” since they were born. As they have grown older they nearly always travel together and we can be pretty sure that if we see one of them come into the cove the other one will be only seconds behind.


While in the cove area they are like normal juveniles and much to the delight of the crowd, the volunteers in the water will often get very wet as a result of their playful antics. However, the bond between these two goes far beyond just playing with each other. When Joe was badly injured a few months ago, Luna hardly left his side. They can often be seen cuddling up to as well as protecting each other. The closeness between them can clearly be seen in the picture below captured by volunteer Lorna.


Come on down and enjoy seeing these beautiful Australian Humpback dolphins. We recommend you stay right to the end of feed time and watch the dolphins leave together after they receive their last fish from the volunteers. It is worth the wait. Reef shoes are also recommended as well as sun protection in the warmer months. Just remember, if it is high tide you will get wet.
Seeing the joy on the faces of adults and children alike as they watch these gorgeous Australian humpback dolphins makes this one of the “best volunteer jobs ever.” If you are local resident and would like to volunteer your time as part of this rewarding activity come on down any morning and have a chat to the team leader on duty. We would love to see you join us.

Donna Caldwell