To see his friend, Rick Anderson must put on an oxygen tank, place a regulator in his mouth, and dive into the water off the coast of Nobbys Beach in New South Wales, Australia.

A 6-foot female Port Jackson shark accompanies Anderson. Even though she doesn’t have a name, Anderson recognizes her by her marks.

Credit: RICK ANDERSON

Anderson claims that she is always aware of his presence.

Anderson explained, “I started playing with her when she was about 6 inches long, around seven years ago.” “I approached her slowly to avoid startling her, then gently patted her on the back. After she’d gotten used to me, I’d cradle her in my palm and whisper soothingly to her through my regulator.”

Credit: RICK ANDERSON

“Every time she was here in the first season, I did this,” he explained. “As the seasons passed, she began to recognize me and would swim up to me for a hug and a kiss. She became accustomed to me quickly, to the point where she will swim up to me and tap my legs until I stretch out my arms for her to lie on for a cuddle as I pass.”

Credit: RICK ANDERSON

He went on to say, “Most first-time divers can’t believe what they’re seeing.” “I don’t feed her or any of the other sharks with whom I play; I treat them like dogs.”

Credit: RICK ANDERSON

Even though Port Jackson sharks are much smaller than great white sharks, any shark can cause fear, particularly because sharks are frequently misrepresented in the media as being deadly to humans. On the other hand, humans pose a more significant threat to sharks, with an estimated 73 million sharks killed each year.

Credit: RICK ANDERSON

Anderson, who owns a dive school and has been scuba diving for over 30 years, believes that his encounter with the Port Jackson shark will help others become less afraid of sharks.

Credit: RICK ANDERSON

“The most common misconception about sharks is that they are all mindless killers waiting for humans to enter the ocean so they can be eaten,” Anderson continued.

Anderson has dived with various sharks, including banjo sharks, grey nurse sharks, tiger sharks, tiger sharks, bull sharks, hammerhead sharks, and the occasional great white Shark.

Credit: RICK ANDERSON

He said, “I’ve always felt at ease swimming with these animals.”

Anderson is always willing to cuddle a shark, and his pal, the Port Jackson, still can’t get enough of him after all these years.

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