The real life Flipper

The extraordinary relationship between a woman and her wild dolphin friend
Dolphin expert Ute Margreff spends up to seven hours per day in chilly waters off the coast of Ireland with her dolphin pal, Mara.

Ute Margreff cuddles with her dolphin friend Mara in the waters off the coast of Galway
Ute Margreff cuddles with her dolphin friend Mara in the waters off the coast of Galway

For the last 12 years the German native has travelled the world studying the behaviour of solitary dolphins in the wild.

The extraordinary relationship between a woman and her wild dolphin friend

When Ute was first introduced to the aquatic mammal in 2000, she said she knew that Mara was special.
Ute said: “Mara was very open, allowing our interaction to happen. From that point I knew I was going to be studying dolphins full-time.
And according to Ute, although well known for being friendly, dolphins are as keen to learn about the human world, as she is to better understand theirs.
And Mara wants Ute to know all about the underwater world she inhabits.
Since their first meeting in 2000, Mara has introduced Ute to a range of sea life including wild dolphin pods, sunfish, porpoise and seals.

The extraordinary relationship between a woman and her wild dolphin friend

Mara also brings ‘gifts’ from the seabed, including rubbish left behind by humans.

The extraordinary relationship between a woman and her wild dolphin friend
Mara brings Ute a selection of presents from the sea bed, such as seaweed, to show her fondness for her

Ute said: “I think it’s important that people realise dolphins have personalities as unique as ours.
Mara is very clever and highly sociable. My research shows that solitary dolphins can happily interact with pods, and they frequently do.
Like humans they make their own choices about how they lives their lives.”

[via]

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