Nick Anderson ventures to extreme depths to visit a good friend who happens to be a Port Jackson shark.
To what lengths would you venture to visit a good friend? For diver Nick Anderson, he’s willing to don scuba diving gear, breathe through a regulator, and descend deep into the ocean to visit a very special Port Jackson shark.
Though the marine animal doesn’t have a name, she and Anderson have been friends for a long time. The 6-foot female lives off the coast of Nobbys Beach in New South Wales, Australia, and is easily identified by her marking. Of course, it helps that she also recognizes Nick when he dives sto visit her.
“I started playing with her about seven years ago when she was just a pup about 6 inches long. 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.”
“I did this each time in the first season she was here. Then over the following seasons, she’d recognize me and would swim up to me for a pat and cuddle. She soon 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,” he added.
Who could say ‘no’ to that face?!
Not surprisingly, most divers are shocked to learn about Anderson’s unique friendship. He said,
“Most divers seeing this for the first time can’t believe it. I don’t feed her or any of the other sharks I play with — I basically treat them like I would a dog.”
The activist hopes his friendship with the Port Jackson shark will inspire more people to give them a chance. After all, a cow is more likely to kill a human than a shark is.
“The biggest misconception about sharks is that they are all mindless killers lying in wait for people to enter the water so they can be devoured,” explained Anderson.
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