Diver and wild fish named Elvis are unlikely friends who regularly meet at same spot

Rex Colubra underwater with his fish friend Elvis.
Rex Colubra, 40, has named his friend, a fresh water small mouth bass, Elvis (Pictures: SWNS)

A diver said he has made friends with a wild fish who responds to his call and meets him at the same spot.

Rex Colubra, from north Wisconsin in the US, gets his unlikely pal to come and find him by making a ‘gulping grunt sound’ with his throat underwater.

The fresh water small mouth bass, who Rex has now named Elvis, even gets jealous over the 40-year-old who travels to dive with his buddy regularly.

‘Elvis will literally just fight other fish if they get too close to me to keep them away,’ Rex said.

The pair met during a dive in September 2021, in a lake Rex does not want to name in order to protect Elvis from fishermen.

Rex, who works at a print shop and makes animal enclosures, said: ‘It was like any other dive I was checking out a new spot and all these fish where coming up to me.

‘I noticed one was sticking closer than the rest, he wasn’t scared. Even when I got out, he stuck close to the surface in the shallows.’

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Rex Colubra underwater with his fish friend Elvis.
Rex sometimes feeds crawfish to Elvis when they meet in the lake (Picture: SWNS)
Rex Colubra underwater with his fish friend Elvis.
Rex makes a ‘gulping grunt sound’ to get Elvis to come find him (Picture: SWNS)

When Rex returned to the same spot two weeks later, to feed him some crawfish, Elvis recognised him and came swimming.

The pair have met multiple times since, with Rex filming their encounters and posting them on dedicated social media pages he has made specifically for Elvis.

In one clip, during their eleventh dive together, Rex can be heard sounding their special call before Elvis comes gliding up to him in just two minutes.

Elvis stops to study his mate, while the joy in Rex’s voice can be heard as he greets the fish with a muffled ‘hey’ through his snorkel.

The diver said: ‘He’s completely obsessed with me. He follows me around and just stares me in the eyes.’

The animal-lover is able to recognise Elvis because he has a scar on his face, which Rex believes is probably from being caught by a fisherman in the past.

Rex Colubra with Elvis, a small mouth bass.
The diver said Elvis is ‘completely obsessed’ with him and likes to ‘stare into his eyes’ (Picture: SWNS)

About the small mouth bass:

Smallmouth bass is a freshwater species and a popular game fish in North America. They can grow to be 12kgs and 89cm in length.

They are carnivorous predators which hunt ‘any small-enough creature found in their habitat that they can swallow’.

The species live in streams, rivers, lakes, and reservoirs, preferring areas with heavy cover such as weed beds, rocks and tree shelter.

Source: Bass online

Rex worries Elvis might be caught again, saying: ‘Of course, I would be sad if he had been caught. He’s my friend. There’s not much I can do to protect him. It’s the risk he runs every year.

‘I don’t like sport fishing. I think it’s immoral. If you are going to catch a fish you should eat it and not just put a hook in it.’

The pair had their most recent dive earlier this summer, after going eight months without seeing each other.

Initially, Rex had not been able to find Elvis for a month and a half and was worried something had happened to him.

But a wholesome video shows Elvis swimming in the opposite direction of a school of fish to meet Rex, to the soundtrack of Peaches & Herb singing ‘reunited and it feels so good’.

Multiple divers have spoken about making friends with fish in the past, with several recent reports concluding fish are more intelligent than humans originally thought, with the ability to perceive and feel things.

A 2016 study conducted by the University of Oxford and the University of Queensland found that a species of tropical fish, archerfish, were able to identify human faces with a 86% total accuracy rate.

Co-author Cait Newport said: ‘The fact that archerfish can learn this task (identification) suggests that complicated brains are not necessarily needed to recognise human faces.’

Biologist Jonathan Balcombe, who wrote the book What a Fish Knows, said: ‘What we know about fish is only a tiny slice of what they know. They are sentient creatures with the capacity to feel.’

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