I finally fulfilled my lifelong dream of petting a dolphin! Sadly, it turned out to be the most expensive dolphin petting session ever because not only did I register to pet dolphins at the La Isla Shopping Mall (a tourist trap), I was so distracted by the amazingly good looking guy manning the booth, I registered for the wrong day and ended up having to call via roaming to re-book. But in my defense, I'd never seen such a good looking guy in real life before >.< He had such pretty blue eyes, this perfect bronze tan, and Crest white teeth....gosh, he was really, really cute *^.^*!
Anywayyyyy....the experience was still AMAZING :) Dolphins are the shit - so friendly and playful :) I see why people love them so much, they truly have distinct personalities....they are very human somehow.
|Entrance of the Interactive Aquarium.|
When you book a ticket for dolphin session, you also get admission to a tiny (very tiny) aquarium.
Octopus with a little leg (must have gotten pulled off somehow...).
I like this pictures cuz it looks like the shark is about to chomp the smaller shark :D ehehe
Other reviewers said you could pick up the jumbo starfish but strangely enough, the worker there said we were not allowed to :\ So yeah, I did not get to pet the starfish :(
I sorely regret not doing a sea lion petting session! That kooky sea lion held that awkward position for like 10 minutes straight.... They seem like such derpy animals :) I was sad to see how small their pool was though :(
Little baby crocs (sadly we were not allowed to pet these :P )
But I did get to touch a manta ray! I was so startled by how BIG they are! They felt quite interesting...like a very slimy shark. Their eyes are a little scary though, so empty and dead :\ Sadly, it's pretty obvious why nobody cares about captive manta rays :P You have to be a cute dolphin to get that kind of attention.
|You can tell how sun burned my back and shoulders got ^^|
All pix with me in 'em - Credits: Julie
And the highlight of the day - this is an Atlantic female dolphin! She was actually pregnant and slated to give birth in like...a week ^^ Despite being quite plump, she was a very good sport about all the tricks the trainer had her do. I felt rather sorry because towards the end I could tell she was little pooped. I loved petting her though because she actually closed her eyes as you pet her side and belly. The trainer said it's because they like the feeling...like how dogs and cats do ^_^ Apparently their skin is quite delicate as well; you have to rub them with the flat of your palm and take care not to scratch them. Dolphins are really beautiful creatures - I feel like when you look in their eyes, you can see a soul.
As much as I LOVED seeing a dolphin up close, I was felt a pang of regret about the whole experience, so when I got home, I did some digging. This thread notes that while many places try to do their best, dolphin petting sessions are likely to be ultimately geared towards making money. Most of the replies voted on passing on dolphin petting altogether. Sadly, it seems even "ethical" programs where you can swim with wild dolphins out in the ocean may even be too much for these clever mammals. Furthermore, wild dolphins are not trained at all and highly unpredictable, which can be dangerous to humans. In fact, dolphins have been know to harass and kill other animals for no reason - much like humans you could say.... So while in theory, swimming with wild dolphins sounds so ethical AND fun, it's probably not a good idea. Maybe the solution is to just not pet dolphins at all then? *sigh* I don't know....
So, while I'm so happy I got to pet a dolphin, I wonder if it was the right thing to do. Do dolphins long for freedom? Do they really like being pet by humans, these incomprehensible beings who give them fish for the privilege? Do they get dream of endless oceans?