Tuesday, June 27, 2017


Hi Sea Fans!

I've really been so lucky, what started as a 1 year round-the-world-trip to visit people working with marine life, has ended up being 5 1/2 years so far!  Thank you to everyone who has hosted me and shown me what they do in a day, it's been a blast!

So anyway, my next stop was Columbus Zoo and Aquarium.  Gee, where do I start?  I got to experience so much... let's start with the Manatee Rehabilitation Partnership (MRP). 

"The highest single cause of mortality to manatees is boat strikes.  Manatees also face being entangled in fishing lines, deal with pollution, entrapment, harassment (calf and mother are separated), habitat loss, cold stress, and red tide. We see animals here that are recovering from injuries, calves that are orphaned, and animals suffering from cold stress. Cold stress happens when the water temperature drops below 68° F and can leads to lethargy, anorexia, hypothermia and even death. This predisposes animals to a variety of infections, causes organ groups to shut down, loss of skin, as well as pneumonia and death." Mallory Seibold

Columbus Zoo and Aquarium is the most northern facility in the US to rehabilitate and release Florida manateees. Due to their large appetites (and they can eat LOTS!!!!!!!!!!!), the manatees are some of the most expensive animals to feed here.  They don't just eat lettuces, they also get sweet potatoes and apples for treats :)

The Manatee Coast exhibit has 5 manatees: Stubby (who lives here permanently because she lost most of her tail and can't swim properly); 
June Bug; Jedi; Millenium; and Falcon.  (Except Stubby, they are all juveniles who were orphaned at a young age and couldn't survive on their own. Millenium and Falcon are the smallest and youngest manatees that CZA has ever cared for...and they're twins! Very unusual for manatees.)

Stubby gets to do training sessions where she rolls on her back and presents her flipper for medical exams - I got to help Kevin, the trainer!  

Thanks CZA!!!  Don't stop reading now though Sea Fans, there's more coming in the next few weeks, keep your eyes on my blog :)

Chat soon
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Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Dolphin Discovery Centre

Hi Sea Fans!

We've had strange storms here in SA and now Winter has officially started so I'm off to visit more friends, keep an eye on my travels, maye I'll be in your hometown next! ;)

In the mean time, let me tell you a bit more about where I've been...Dolphin Discovery Centre.

During the 1960's, a local resident of Koombana Bay in Australia, began feeding dolphins from a small jetty.  After she passed, a dolphin specialist was hired to continue the tradition, feeding and studying the local dolphins. From this work, came the establishment of the Interaction Zone in `990 and the Dolphgin Discovery Centre in 1994.  Tourists and members of the community can interact with the group of 5 or 6 dolphins that regularly visit and learn more about dolphins in general.

"We don't clearly understand why the dolphins continue to visit the Zone today however research does suggest that the small amount of food they receive as a reward for their visit is not the only attraction. There are many dolphins that visit the Zone regularly that do not receive any fish and many of them stay for extended periods of time for interaction with the human visitors. Sick and injured dolphins also treat the beach as a haven, with some repeatedly visiting during periods of illness or injury." from their website. 

Dolphin Eco Cruises and swimming with wild dolphins - you wouldn't want to do that?  Well, Phil offered to take me around the Dolphin Discovery Centre in Australia where he works, to show me what he does in a day.  Here are some pics:

Checking for dolphins.

Chatting to the aquarium's resident shark.

The centre aims to promote research, conservation and education of the Bottlenose Dolphins and other native marine life.  It is home to a discovery pool, aquariums, 360 degree digital dolphinarium, scheduled guided site tour, 3D & 2D movies, cafe and souvenir shop, so there is something for everyone.
  There is also the Interaction Zone where the wild dolphins often come to interact with visitors

It's not all dolphins!  You can learn about sea life in general and what you can do to help protect the oceans and the creatures who live in them.

This occie just cracked me up!

The centre runs thanks to experienced staff and volunteers who are willing to give up their time.

Aussie sunshine!

A beautiful day to meet the dolphins.

Can you believe what Phil did to me?!? 
Thanks Phil and all the staff at DDC for showing me around and letting me experience a day in your life :)

Have a great week Sea Fans!
Chat soon
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