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Published: November 29th 2010
orca and me
Orca and me
Before I started snorkeling with marine animals in the ocean (see other blog posts), I signed up for a Trainer for the Day program at Sea World. I know there is a huge debate about keeping dolphins and other animals in captivity, but that is beyond the scope of this blog. All I can say is that my experience was very educational and rewarding. It sparked an interest in me in doing ecotourism and supporting causes to protect wildlife. (Sea World also does a lot for animal rescue, and I later participated in one of their animal care programs to learn a little about what is involved in that.)
The Trainer for a Day program is fantastic. You get to participate in a lot of the animal interaction programs and backstage programs. In 2001, I got to interact with dolphins, large birds, otters, and an orca. I'll never forget to taking a river otter for a walk on a leash. Feeding fish to orca was fun. I think I got to pet the orca too. The backstage programs are fun. In a one Sea World program, I got to interact with a walrus and beluga whale. (In 2009, Vane later did a beluga whale interaction at Sea World which she posted about in her blog.)
There were only three people in ourTrainer for a Day program, and Sea World treated us really well. The food is great, the hot showers are nice, and the trainers gave us Sea World colored t-shirts. I just loved it.
I also got some Sea World publications and learned that it is not easy being a Sea World trainer. Who have to be in amazing shape to swim with the animals and pass a variety of difficult endurance tests. Taking care of the animals is really hard work! In just one hour of putting vitamins in fish in order to feed dolphin and seals, I got scales under my nails for weeks.
I know that there is some controversy with Sea World, but I found their programs to be world-class learning experiences that sparked my interest in interacting with animals in the wild.
Enjoy your travels,
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