Bottlenose dolphins living in Coombana Bay off the coast of Western Australia have once again demonstrated the remarkable mental abilities inherent in this species. They have learned to steal fish, which they use as bait in crab pots.
Dolphins watch as crabbers load bait into mesh traps and lower them to the ocean floor. Then the dolphins quickly stick their elongated noses into the traps, pull the fish off the hooks, and they are the only ones seen.
Crabbers try in every possible way to deceive the thieves – hide the fish under a trap or put it in a plastic container, but the dolphins instantly learn to bypass all the tricks and get theirs.
For example, if a fish is under a trap, dolphins turn it over with their powerful jaws. And if the bait is placed in a container, the dolphins open the lid with their teeth.
According to film director Axel Grossman, who makes films about the wildlife and dolphins of Kumbana Bay, these marine mammals are engaged in theft not only and not so much because of hunger. Firstly, the bait is very easy prey, practically served in the dolphin’s “backyard,” so it would be a sin not to use it. But first and foremost, dolphins are simply interested in learning and love to have fun. Agree that stealing fish from crab pots is a great way to have fun.