Sunday, September 16, 2007

Belize Dolphin Encounter

Days out with the family don’t come much better than this! We went to Spanish Lookout Caye yesterday, which is a 20-minute boat ride from Belize City and experienced the Dolphin Encounter there. It was amazing!!!!

We’d been meaning to check the dolphin encounter out for ages now, but never got round to it before. We wanted to see first hand if the place was exploitative in any way. If it was, we would make sure never to send any of our guests there. But after having been there, I’m happy to say though that the place is run in a very responsible manner & that it is highly educative, with an emphasis on conservation.

Before you go into the water with the dolphins, the trainers teach you a thing or two about the animals. About their physiology, their behavior and about ways that we can all protect their habitat. You are then taught how to behave in the water with the animals. The 4 dolphins at Spanish Lookout Caye are bottlenose dolphins, bred in captivity & they are all relatively young, about 4 to 6 years old, so they are still learning a lot and don’t always behave perfectly (but then, which 4-year-old does?)

Still, the two dolphins we met did wonderful. They were so bright and so excited about everything. It was really cute to see how much they loved their trainers and how they loved all the positive reinforcement they got. When one dolphin was a bit naughty, the trainer just blanked him for a moment. Which is the dolphin equivalent to a ‘time-out’.

These captive dolphins get regular visits from their wild counterparts & the two boys seem to be doing very well with the ‘wild’ ladies out there. So there is a lot of flirting going on between the dolphins at the lagoon and those just outside the barrier.

Of course, there is nothing as great as dolphins in the wild. But these captive dolphins seemed very happy (something that can not be faked) & I am sure that they enjoy this highly interactive lifestyle to being stuck in a tank at a zoo somewhere.

I definitely recommend this encounter to those visiting or living in Belize and we’ll start adding this day trip to our own packages soon too.

So if any of you want to go on this daytrip or any other Belize daytrip/vacation, contact us at Green Dragon Adventure Travel.