While is very common to see humans interacting with animals of different species, a diver cuddling his shark friend is a scene you won’t see everyday. And yet, Rick Anderson – an Australian diver and a Port Jackson female shark are sharing an unlikely but so lovely friendship for over 7 years now.
The now 6-foot marine creature, was just about 6 inches long at the time when she and Rick first met. “I started playing with her about seven years ago when she was just a pup about 6 inches long,” the diver told The Dodo. “I approached her carefully so as not to spook her, then began to gently pat her. Once she got used to me, I would cradle her in my hand and talk soothingly to her through my regulator.”
Rick admits he hasn’t gave his unusual friend a name, yet, but he says he recongnize the shark by her markings. The man who’s been scuba diving for over 27 years and also runs a dive school, said the other divers could not believe their eyes when the female shark approach him and ask for cuddles. And she’s doing it whenever Rick goes diving.
“Most divers seeing this for the first time can’t believe it,” Rick said. “I don’t feed her or any of the other sharks. She got used to me – to the point where she will swim up to me when I’m going past, and tap me on the legs until I hold my arms out for her to lay on for a cuddle.”
The diver hopes his special relationship with the Port Jackson shark will help other people to give up the misconception about sharks.