I’ve always loved the ocean. I don’t know why, but there’s something appealing about the deep blue waters, the mysterious creatures that live there, and the beautiful natural wonders you can find there.
My life has been a strange adventure, but I’ve been pretty lucky overall. I mean, how many people got to kiss a Beluga whale and a dolphin? Not many, I’m sure.
Meet Ollie. He’s a male Beluga Whale currently living at SeaWorld San Antonio. He eats lots of fish and (from what I understand) has a girlfriend.
Cute, right? He’s pretty peppy, for a whale, and likes to give kisses. I will say, I was a bit nervous having a 800 pound whale swim up and kiss my cheek. I mean, he’s a LOT bigger than I am!
But Ollie was gentle, and I even got to feed him some fish afterword. I was only hands-deep in the arctic water, and it was freezing. Ollie, of course, thrives in the cold water.
My other animal encounter would surprise me even more. While I may have only been hands-deep in this water, I got to actually get in the water with the dolphins. HOW COOL!
Super flattering, right?
The water was pretty cold, but in the Texas heat I found it rather refreshing. My dolphin friends were named Coco and Brea, and they were learning how to interact with strangers, so I got to get in the water with them a few times.
They practiced different behaviors, including (of course) a kiss, a hug, and a few other playful things.
I was going through a pretty tough time in my life, and I’m pretty sure that the dolphins could tell, because they kept coming over and nudging me, as if to say ‘keep going!’
We learned a lot; the animal trainers told us all about how they care for the dolphins, how they learn what each one of them likes, and how they use positive reinforcement to help teach the dolphins behaviors.
It was quite a magical day, and I’m really grateful to SeaWorld for giving me the chance to have such a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
What’s your favorite marine animal? Leave a comment below!