Swimming with dolphins
Knowing to understand, knowing to be able to live together in a peaceful way. I believe it is a syllogism valid in general, for any area of life and relationships between living beings.
This was precisely the feeling that animated us when we decided to approach an experience at the Dolphin Research Center in Grassy Key in Florida.
Swimming with dolphins
Swimming with dolphins is a unique experience, but the real purpose of this center is not to entertain the tourist with exclusive attractions, but to carry out studies to better understand the habits and functional mechanisms of the species, in order to understand how the human activities affect dolphin populations.
Spending a day in this center means entering into the merits of these studies and also concretely helping the various projects, financing a piece with the access fee.
The Dolphin Research Center is located along the Florida Keys, about a two-hour drive from Miami, in a bay overlooking the Gulf of Mexico; has several natural lagoons of sea water, where dolphins, but also the sea lions of the center, have found a home. Some specimens were born in the center, others came here from rescue or rehabilitation centers or from other structures, which are no longer able to maintain them.
Wild dolphins sometimes stop to visit their cousins along the perimeter of the fence and this is also a moment of study.
A stamp will be applied to the entrance so that you can be free to come and go for the whole day. Inside the center you can move freely but if you want, periodically, the employees of the center will accompany you to visit the various areas of the lagoon to tell you about the typical behaviors of these funny and very social mammals.
In addition to the simple entrance ticket, you can join various proposals with different levels of involvement in the activities of the center. You can swim with dolphins, help people prepare their meals, actively participate in training sessions, paint a Dolphin Art T-shirt.
Everyone will find their way to become part of the center.
We have chosen to immerse ourselves in the waters of the lagoon to swim with the dolphins and play with them from the submerged platform. It is a not too cheap experience but it is worth it and it will help the center to continue with their research projects
Although dolphins do not have a threatening appearance, when it was time to dive, I do not hide the fact that we had a minimum of concern, perhaps because of the size of the animals or perhaps just because of the lack of knowledge in knowing how to approach them. Thanks to the help of the center's experts, however, the experience was super fun and engaging, even for the little ones. It is surprising to see how dolphins take care of the smallest creatures, almost to capture their emotions. Our Giulia was quite small then and when she should have entered the water, she had had a hesitation almost to want to think again. It was the dolphin who invited her, looking at her with intensity and gently dragging her away. I think that exchange of glances will remain in her memory forever.
The moments with the dolphins are immortalized by a photographer from the center and it is possible to purchase the whole package of photos and videos which, also in this case, will help to give concrete help to the activities of the center. It may seem like a commercial activity but in reality, the center, born in 1984, is absolutely not for profit. We have brought home, once more, the awareness that in approaching the other, be it a human, an animal or an environment, we need knowledge, attention and care.
Giulia and the delicate dolphin
The Dolphin Research Center