a little east of reality

Sunday, October 15, 2006

me & flipper

Today I patted dolphins, gave them little fish, swam with them and generally had one of my coolest animal adventures to date. Their skin is slick and taut on top, but their underbelly is soft. They close their eyes like a cat when they're tickled under their chin.

Cute facts I learned about dolphins:

1. They are promiscuous. Although they do pair up and become definite couples, this seldom lasts more than a season. In fact, usually the male is out of there and onto the next conquest the moment his current girlfriend gets pregnant. I guess there are a lot of single mothers in the dolphin world, or maybe the whole pod just joins in the parenting. This phenomenon caused us some delays today, as one of the pregnant female dophins refused to come to her usual 'spot', because she was miffed that her ex was smooching up with a new girl and she was avoiding them. As sands at the bottom of the ocean, so are the Days of Our Dolphins...

2. They are very curious and will eat pretty much anything just to check out what it is. That's why the trainers reward them for bringing rubbish that they find in the pool - otherwise they'll eat it and get sick. During our program Speedy retrieved a big leaf and still got rewarded. The trainer told us that she probably thought it was rubbish, but personally I think Speedy just wanted the fish.

3. They have a belly button.

I'm not too excited about sharks, but I did enjoy the polar bears. I'm hoping I got a good picture of one of them amusing himself by pushing off the viewing room window and backflipping into the water. I also went on one scary ride in a boat down a huge waterslidey thing. Well, okay, little kids were on it, but it was scary to me.