Dolphins have been a source of fascination for humans for years. Their intelligence is readily observable and scientists have posited that the animals’ complicated social structures and their amazing sonar abilities may even have resulted in a capacity for unique underwater physiological-response-and-emotion-reading skills, along with high-level communication abilities that may be comparable or even superior to those of humans.
There are hundreds of anecdotal tales of empathetic dolphins coming to the rescue of desperate divers being attacked by sharks and frightened shipwreck survivors about to drown. In a National Geographic article published earlier this year, researchers at the Roatán Institute for Marine Sciences were shown to have discovered that not only can dolphins problem solve effectively, they can also understand novel commands presented to them by their human trainers, and even innovate new actions spontaneously when asked to do something new.
On vacation in the Bahamas, Teressa Cee, a professional cheerleader for the NBA Miami Heat team, discovered for herself just how smart and helpful dolphins can be. While getting ready to swim with the dolphins, Teressa handed her phone to a stranger to hold while she began to climb into the water. The hand-off was too quick for the man, however, and the smartphone accidentally slipped between his fingers and fell into the ocean.
Thinking that her cell was lost forever, Teressa watched despondently as it sank to the seafloor. Suddenly, out of the blue, one of the local dolphins who regularly swam with visitors, Cacique, dove underwater and caught the phone in his mouth. With only a couple powerful pumps of his tail, he leapt up out of the water and tossed the phone back into the hand of the man who had dropped it, with a satisfied squeal. What a lifesaver!
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