Meet Rick Anderson, an Australian man who calls a female Port Jackson shark his friend, telling her that she comes to cuddle her every time she sees him.
“I started playing with her about seven years ago when she was just a pup about 6 inches long,” Anderson 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.”
The man, who has been scuba diving for 27 years and runs a dive school, added: “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.”
“Most divers seeing this for the first time can’t believe it,” he added. “I don’t feed her or any of the other sharks I play with — I basically treat them like I would a dog.”