Dolphin circles around boat to 'thank' fishermen after being rescued from beach

An adorable dolphin was filmed circling a fishing boat to “thank” a group of rescuers after it had washed up on a beach.

The dark grey dolphin was trapped in a beach in the town of Caotan, Zhanjiang city in southern China’s Guangdong province on Sunday, June 14.

Footage shared on to Chinese social media shows the dolphin struggling to swim out to the sea in the shallow waters before the rescue.

A group of fishermen and a local police officer are seen pitching in to lift up the mammal and bringing it onto their boat. They drive to the open sea in an effort to release it to the open sea.

The overjoyed dolphin “thanks” the fishermen with a series of loops as it breaches water and circles around the vessel three times.

One man waves at the dolphin and says “go on, quick” before the dolphin heads to the Beibu Gulf.

According to Chinese media Xinhua, the rescue mission took just over an hour to free the dolphin.

The dolphin weighed about 40kg and is about 1.7-metre long, said the rescuers.

The dolphin circled around the boat three times before swimming off to the open sea

Viewers praised the locals for saving the wildlife and said the dolphin had bonded with its rescuers.

“The dolphin is so adorable,” one commented. “I hope it recognised the fishermen and come back for a visit!”

A second one wrote: “Thank you all for saving the dolphin!”

Meanwhile, a school of humpback dolphins in Australia are bringing “gifts” ashore to their visitors including sea sponges, barnacle-encrusted bottles and pieces of coral.

Volunteers at the Barnacles Cafe & Dolphin Feeding at Tin Can Bay, Queensland, said the dolphins could be missing human interaction due to the coronavirus pandemic keeping people away.