If you've ever wanted to cuddle with a wild dolphin, get ready to be really jealous of Carl Casey.
On Aug. 30, he and his buddies spotted a dolphin swimming around their local surf spot at McCauley's Beach in New South Whales, Australia. Instead of hopping on his board to surf, Casey grabbed his GoPro, headed out to the water and ended up making a new friend.
"To our surprise," Casey wrote on surfing-centric blog The Inertia, "this dolphin was extremely friendly -- it was swimming up to everyone and letting us touch it."
The encounter turned into a major cuddle session, complete with belly rubs, toe tickling, a game of tag and a bit of seaweed nibbling. There's even a prequel to the video, which Casey uploaded here.
While the surfers meant no harm to their new friend, they apparently broke the law. According to New South Wales' National Parks and Wildlife regulations, "A person must not enter water within ... 50 meters of a dolphin." If a dolphin comes within 30 meters of a person who is already in the water, that person should "move slowly to avoid startling it, and must not touch the cetacean or move towards it."
Seemingly playful interactions may be unhealthy to these creatures. Researchers have found that trying to touch bottlenose dolphins "can be highly stressful" to the animals and could prevent them from "resting, feeding or nurturing their young," according to a report from BBC News.
We just hope that the dolphin in Casey's video was as happy about the impromptu play date as Casey was.