Monday, July 16, 2012

Palmitos Park, Gran Canaria - part 2, Dolphinarium

When re-building the park after the fire in 2007 this Dolphinarium was added. To have one more attraction (and one that would pay for the re-build and maintenance).
So, here now the part about the dolphin show there that I saw:

Dolphinarium exist all over the world. That's a given fact. Just like zoos.
I'm not particularly fond of them. Dolphins are free and very intelligent animals and should live in the oceans. In pools they just don't have the room to swim as far as they could.
View of the dolphinarium from the opposite hill and path leading to it.

Common bottlenose dolphin 




This is the type of dolphin "living" in Palmitos park. They have been born in a dolphinarium and do not know the ocean at all. All they know is pools, being fed with dead fish by humans and do tricks for them. It's the only life they know. 

So, I did go and see their tricks like all those others visitors that day. To be able to do the tricks and show them off seemed to be the fun of the day for them. Maybe even the only time they did not just swim in circles - waiting for the next feeding or show.

Before the actual show started visitors could have their photograph taken - for a fee of 20€ extra. The show itself was already included in the entry fee to the park. The five dolphins did a good show.



One dolphin ready for the next photo - the others waiting for their turn.
Here some photos of the show -- it's very hard to catch them. They move so fast, jumping out of the water and splashing back in.
 The dolphins were being introduced with name and then send of for greeting the public individually.
Now some photos of the show - jumps and splashes and balancing tricks. The two oldest also showed a short dance to music (actually to the hand and whistle signs of the trainers). The other three had been taken to the photo side of the pool - and practiced with the trainer there. and I admit, I was more looking to those then the actual show in the middle of the pool.









Here you can see how the dolphins pushed the person under water . I think, that's not as easy for the man to do  as it looks. 









Waving a last good bye after about half an hour.
Finally the dolphins could do a few more jumps as they wished and then the three younger ones were off in the back basin. The two older ones had to pose for a few more visitors, but were swimming to the gate as they wanted to be with the others over and over again and had to be teased back with promising fish.

Now would follow a three hour "break" and then this show would be repeated once more. And then the next day, every day of the week. The only "fun" they seemed to have. 
Again I say that these five dolphins didn't know anything else - but still, to keep them as pets makes my skin crawl. 

Delphinariums do help to make people more aware of these beautiful beings and then go out and make their natural habitat, the oceans, a place where they can live their life free. But, please, don't build new ones just because it's fun to watch them do tricks for humans.