That’s right, we are talking about swimming with dolphins.
The Dolphin Emotions experience offers you the chance to (quite literally) dive into the dolphin’s world and get to know and interact with this incredibly intelligent creature like you never thought was possible.
After getting all the necessary gear on (which is in this case is only a bathing suit and a life vest), it is time to learn some more about the particular dolphin that you are going to meet.
Zoomarine teach you not only how to behave around the dolphins but also educate you in a fun and entertaining way about the animal itself and they even have a life sized model of a dolphin that shows you where all the organs are.
You learn about where to touch them and where not, how they use sound in order to detect the size, shape and speed of an object, how they make their noises, and a lot more. The dolphins’ echolocation is apparently so good that they can even detect if a woman is pregnant, and tell the difference between a golf ball and a ping pong ball solely on their density.
Another thing that Zoomarine put a lot of emphasis on is conservation and how plastic pollution is a threat to dolphins and many other marine animals. One thing that they advocate is to collect three pieces of plastic trash whenever you visit the beach and though it might not seem like a lot, if we all do it we will make a difference.
Once you get into the water they introduce the very intelligent and gentle 200kg mammals. You get to feel their soft and rubbery skin and even get a glimpse at their teeth and tongue. Of course you get your picture taken and you can even perform tricks with them.
We talked to the Supervisor of the Educational Monitors at Zoomarine, Roberto Gonzales Teixeira, who works closely with the Dolphin Trainers and teaches the visitors all about the animals. He told us that all trainers have to pass an intense, several months long, in-house course to before they get to work with the dolphins.
He also told us that about a dolphin called Alpha who is “the first dolphin in the world who was born through artificial insemination by voluntary medical behaviour. All the medical things that we need to do with them are trained on a voluntary basis. Our trainers are training the dolphins to cooperate. So instead of having to hold our dolphin down or any kind of stress like that we train them to cooperate. So if we want to take a blood sample we just put their tail on our legs in the water and if they don’t want to do it they just swim away and go enjoy their day. This is a big part of what our trainers have to learn.”
For further information, please visit www.zoomarine.pt