As you will notice from reading my blog, I love being in and around the ocean. Without a doubt, my favourite marine mammals are Dolphins. That’s because they are super friendly and very intelligent, as you probably already know.
I have had the privilege to spot them in the wild and to interact with them in captivity as well. I believe it’s extra special to see them in the ocean because it’s their natural home and their sightings could be rather unpredictable.
In The Ocean
I will never forget being on a boat in Chaguaramas, Trinidad, with a couple friends, on the eve of my Birthday in 2014. A school of about 12 dolphins (magically) appeared from nowhere and accompanied us for 30 mins, jumping and splashing around to our delight. Thank You Neville & Nella for this special memory!!
I also got to interact with a trained dolphin in a Dolphin Center in the Bahamas last year. This center is the same which had lent its dolphins to an American TV production company which filmed the “Flipper” TV Show, back in the mid 90’s. Many other documentaries were filmed at that location, Blue Lagoon Island.
I actually laughed throughout that Dolphin Interaction Program, and was in awe of how playful and smart dolphins are when you are up close. (Check the Photo gallery below).
Cacique, the dolphin I’ve interacted with in these pictures below is 15 years old. It takes about 2 years to train a dolphin and I admit that I admired the awesome relationship the trainer has with Cacique. All the dolphins in this facility are part of the shallow-water subspecies of the Atlantic Bottlenose dolphin.
What a Fun & Memorable experience!
Thinking about it still puts a smile on my face to this day.
Fun Facts about Dolphins
– They have 2 stomachs: one to store food and the other to digest.
– Their life expectancy is 50 years. They live longer when they’re held in captivity.
– There are 40 species of Dolphins. The ones we’re all probably more familiar with are the Bottlenose Dolphin and the Killer Whales (also known as “Orca”).
– There are dolphins who live in salt water and others, in fresh water.
– Female dolphins are called Cows, Males are called Bulls and Young dolphins are called Calves.
Dolphins play a significant role in the balance of the ecosystems, though all species in the world are important to the ecosystem. Dolphin’s high position in the food chain allows them to feed on small prey that can be old or diseased. In these cases, dolphins prevent the spread of diseases in the ocean.
Many organizations support marine life and are responsible for protecting dolphin species, among others.
Here are some of the things you can do to help protect this wonderful mammal:
– Reduce the use of plastic bags. Once in the water, these objects become deadly weapons that can be ingested by many animals or injure them.
– Do not feed wild dolphins. Food for humans is not healthy for dolphins and could change their eating behavior.
– Donate to reliable organizations fighting to end Bycatch, which is killing, each year, hundreds of thousands of dolphins, whales and porpoises, as those get entangled in fishing nets and other fishing gears. The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and Oceana are two such trustworthy organizations.
– Participate in coastal cleaning programs. If you are in Trinidad & Tobago, I recommend you partake in the next one, carded for September 16, 2017. Click here for more info.
The Outdoors are full of amazing species !!
We only got one Life to Enjoy them!