The first thing that springs to mind when we hear the term “cuddle” is teddy bears. Because sharks are known for being aggressive man-eating animals, you wouldn’t associate the word “cuddling” with one. But the tale we have for you today will surprise you to your core, as it involves a shark and cuddling.
Rick Anderson is a human who shares his life with a Port Jackson shark. This female has marks on her body. These markings allow Rick to identify his companion. When Rick wishes to see his shark buddy, he must enter the water with an oxygen tank connected to his shoulder and a mouthpiece in his mouth.
The shark has yet to be named, and it dwells in the ocean off the New South Wales coast. She appears to recognize her human companion every time. Rick has been playing with her for more than a decade (more than ten years) when she was a six-inch-long pup. He approached the creature cautiously, wanting to make sure he didn’t surprise her, and then stroked her soothingly.
Rick said “I still cuddle with her when I have the opportunity. She is fit healthy and going strong. Always beautiful.”
He wrapped his hands around her legs to support her as he cradled her in his palm, murmuring softly through his regulator. Rick did this every time she was there throughout the first season.
Throughout the next years, she was able to locate him and swim to him for a hug and pat. The shark became accustomed to Rick over time, swimming up to him when he went by. Then she would tap him on his legs until he cuddled her.
When the divers go out to see Rick, they are both dumbfounded by his friendship with a fish. He treats sharks and dogs equally and even plays with other sharks at scuba diving events. Rick has been diving for over 30 years and runs his own dive school.
He wants to reduce people’s anxiety regarding sharks by telling his tale to the rest of the world.
Rick believes that thinking of sharks as creatures that wait in the ocean to consume human flesh is a widespread misconception. Rick also dives with additional shark species, including tiger sharks, bull sharks, hammerhead sharks, banjo sharks, grey nurse sharks, and even great whites.
He also confesses to being at ease while swimming with these magnificent creatures.