Bottlenose dolphin an 'attention seeker', says ranger

"She is an attention seeker," says Peter Bergman, a ranger with the National Parks and Wildlife Service, of a bottlenose dolphin that has been making friends up and down the NSW coast for 18 months.

"She goes out of her way to swim with people. She will come right up to them."

Never in his 27 years as a ranger has Mr Bergman seen such behaviour.

The dolphin was separated from it's pod 18 months ago after getting trapped in Sussex Inlet.

"Late last week she appeared next to a surfer, tugged on his leg rope, threw seaweed in the air at him, she jumped over his surfboard and caught waves with him," he said.

The two-year-old dolphin played with dozens of Sydneysiders in the shallow waters of Cabbage Tree Bay near Shelly Beach from 7am to sunset on Monday.

She surfaced on the rangers' radar 18 months ago when she was stranded on a sandbank in Sussex Inlet. She was freed but could not rejoin her pod.

In the past week she has interacted with humans at Long Reef, Dee Why and Freshwater.

Mr Bergman pleaded with the public not to feed her.

"We want her to stay wild, and don't want people treating her like a pet."

Surf's up: The dolphin at Shelly Beach on Monday. Picture DEAN SEWELL

Surf's up: The dolphin at Shelly Beach on Monday. Picture DEAN SEWELL


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