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VIDEO: The day a dolphin delivered our supper

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: August 03, 2013

By Nick Constable

  • Lucy Watkins, 14, with the cod she was 'given' by a very playful Dave the Dolphin

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It casts a new light on the notion of dolphin-friendly fish.

To the astonishment of a family kayaking off the Devon coast, a playful dolphin has presented them with a cod for supper.

The Watkins family watched in delight as the mischievous mammal produced an aerobatics display within yards of their party.

He then surfaced with the cod, swam closer to show them and dropped it a few feet away from 14-year-old Lucy Watkins'.

Her grandad Mike Watkins, 52, a retired policeman and keen sea angler, quickly paddled over to retrieve the 10lb whopper.

But Lucy's grandma Nina, a swimming club coach, warned him off – fearing the dolphin would be back to tuck in.

Minutes later the dolphin, christened Dave by locals, returned with a second fish – this time a fine seabass.

"It was amazing," said Mrs Watkins, 52, of Combe Martin, near Barnstaple, North Devon.

"It was as though he was saying; 'I've got my dinner – that one's for you'.

"If I hadn't seen it myself I'd never have believed it. My theory is that he was lonely and wanted human company. He was with us for about two hours.

"It seemed rude to refuse him so we took the fish and had cod and chips for supper.

"It was massive – I've still got half in the freezer."

Lucy said the dolphin had earlier performed aquabatics for a boat-load of trippers visiting Combe Martin bay.

"He definitely wanted me to have his fish," she said. "He first dropped it 20ft away but then pushed it to within 5ft of my kayak.

"Everyone was watching on the beach and we caused quite a stir when we paddled in with the cod."

The dolphin is among several seen playing in bays around the Woolacombe, Ilfracombe and Combe Martin area during the recent heatwave.

However holidaymakers out swimming or boating are being urged not to approach them too closely.

A spokesman for Whale and Dolphin Conservation said: "This is a very interesting account.

"There are many examples worldwide of dolphins interacting with humans.

"We would just make our usual appeal for people to generally keep their distance.

"Dolphins can sometimes become distracted by humans, lose their awareness of nearby motor boats and sustain injuries."

Dave has his own Facebook page with more than 450 followers at www.facebook.com/DavidtheDolphin

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