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I Believe I Can Fly

February 21, 2011

Dolphin Research Center, Marathon FL

From this photo you might think the Dolphin Research Center in Marathon Key is a top secret military installation that is developing the latest in dolphin missile technology. But instead, they’re a not-for-profit education and research facility dedicated to the study, rescue and rehabilitation of the marine mammals. DRC’s research ranges from immunology to demonstrating that dolphins have a better understanding of numbers than many humans I know. DRC also runs a wide variety of educational programs for the public, including “dolphin encounters” that allow visitors to swim with the creatures.

The interactive programs run as much as $189 per person for just 20 minutes with the dolphins, which after seeing them first hand, didn’t seem like a good deal. So we stayed out of the water today, and found watching from the sidelines rewarding enough. We learned a lot while we were there, and naturally watched the dolphins perform a bunch of tricks . . . the same kind of thing you’d see at Sea World, I imagine. But we often found it more interesting to observe the dolphins when the trainers weren’t around.

One flirtatious dolphin, named Merina, spent a good 15 minutes, or more, playing hide and seek with us. She’d pop up in front of us, with one eye out of the water, looking us over, only to disappear and pop up somewhere else; always making sure we were watching her antics. We had no food for her (feeding the animals is prohibited), and she had no hope of any kind of reward from us, other than our attention, which is apparently all she wanted.

Dolphin Research Center, Marathon Key

Merina the flirt.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. February 22, 2011 10:07 am

    Thanks for visiting. We’ll tell Merina that you’re still giving her attention, but on your blog. 🙂

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