Tin Can Bay's new dolphin baby
THE Cooloola Coast community of Tin Can Bay is moving forward after the birth of the inlet's newest celebrity - a new baby dolphin - after mum Ella, a Norman Point regular, gave birth recently.
Ella and her new bub have been making themselves scarce around Norman Point and its famous dolphin feeding site, at Barnacles cafe.
But Barnacles owner Les Dunstan says this is normal.
Dolphin advocate Joe McLeod says Ella and her newborn have only come in a couple of times as Ella introduced the new "pup" or "calf" (as dolphin babies are known) to the feeding site and her future human friends.
"She'll keep her out there and look after her until she's a few weeks old and then she'll probably bring her in.
"In the meantime, Ella will be feeding the pup herself and protecting her from the inlet's bull shark population.
The adorable new bub does not yet have a name, partly because dolphin volunteers are not sure what sex he or she is, just yet.
DELIGHTED: Dolphin volunteers are proud of their program's safety for the wild dolphins they introduce to the public.
Mr Dunstan says volunteers have sought expert advice and should know soon whether to conjure up a boy's name or a girl's.
The Tin Can Bay dolphins are a rare species in that they are estuarine in habit and do not like deep water.
The dolphins of Tin Can Inlet and Great Sandy Straits have been fed by humans since Aboriginal times when, according to local elders, they helped drive fish into the people's nets and were rewarded with an easily caught commission in the shallows, sometimes being fed also from a hand or even the point of a spear.
Although controversial at times and strongly opposed by a range of government bureaucracies, people power won the day after Mr McLeod was able to convince politicians of both sides that the feeding institution was a natural remnant of traditions of human-dolphin interaction which have been going on in the area for thousands of years.