While it is probably becoming evident to our readers, that the stories about what dolphins can do when given a command or sign, multiple steps, various orders, factoring in other dolphins are endless. This story takes dolphin intelligence to another level!
“Another example of interesting behaviour suggesting intelligence concerns a dolphin named Kelly at the Institute for Marine Mammal Studies in Mississippi. The dolphins there are trained to collect any rubbish that inadvertently falls into their pens and then give it to a trainer the next time they see one. They are then rewarded with a fish. Kelly worked out that the size of the piece of rubbish does not affect the reward. So instead of handing over a piece of litter immediately, she stores it under a rock in the tank and tears it into small pieces and hands them back one at a time. This strategy suggests that Kelly has a sense of future and is prepared to delay gratification. She has also in a way turned the tables — she has effectively trained the humans to do what she wants.” As written on the Dolphin Way.
I find that this story is humorous, amazing and clever! I am fairly sure she beat the trainer to the punch line on this one!!
Many dolphins have learned to dispose of rubbish. under human care. When I have talked with trainers at Dolphin Discovery, which is based in lagoon settings, they reported that since the dolphins under human care can communicate with dolphins in the wild it is their hope that they will communicate to wild dolphins that rubbish is not meant to be played with. In the wild, dolphins have been injured due to their curious nature while playing with rubbish. Their hope is that through communication with wild dolphins, wild dolphins will no longer be injured by rubbish in the oceans. Given all that we know about dolphin intelligence and communication, this certainly seems possible. Here are a couple photos of Maggie recycling.
Keep Our Oceans Clean