How to manage animal/guest behaviour during interaction

On a recent chat with a trainer, she was expressing her concern and difficulties when dealing with guest interacting with our animals. This is very common in our profession, just need to be patient and find the best way of dealing with it and making sure everyone is happy during this activity.

It is lovely to see when trainer have a genuine concern and really care for their animal!

Trainers main concern:

People touching the animal blowhole and eyes on animal guests-animal interactions.

Many times, this scenario can turn into an awkward situation, but never forget you are the one in control of your session or program…if you are having difficulties with the way the guests are petting your animal, even after you have given your instructions and you see it done incorrectly by touching the animal’s eyes and blowhole, you must call your animal to your platform. Explain again to the guests the correct way of doing it…then you send your animal one more time… mostly people listen and respond positive at this stage…if the guest continue petting in an incorrect way…you call your animal again…then you need to take measurement to protect your animal…be patient, do not take it personal, sometimes people are very excited, this is a big event for them, some people have waited their whole life for this kind of activity and they just can’t control themselves…remember how you felt the first time you touched a dolphin!

How to handle this situation

Some trainers would get distressed and worry and they tend to make the petting time shorter and as a result the guest end up missing out on the magic of this lovely experience…what I would do is in this case, if I have an assistant in the water I ask for help. If not, in a very friendly manner with the guest I would help them by bringing the animal and the guest closer to my platform, where I can closely observe and direct that particular petting session…making sure the animal’s blow hole is away from the guest’s reach. This way the animal is comfortable, the guest is relaxed and petting the animal and everyone is a winner!

Bottle Nose Dolphin Adopts Whale Calf of Another Species


From a small inflatable boat in the Rangiroa atoll in French Polynesia, Pamela Carzon got her first glimpse of the “strange” trio of marine mammals she’d been told about: a bottlenose dolphin mother (Tursiops truncatus), her seven-month-old calf, and another young cetacean that was slightly smaller and looked to be not a bottlenose dolphin at all, but a melon-headed whale (Peponocephala electra). 

It was April 2015, and Carzon and a colleague at the Marine Mammal Study Group of French Polynesia, a nongovernmental organization dedicated to whale and dolphin conservation, were out for the NGO’s annual photo-ID survey, very much hoping to find animals that a former collaborator had seen while diving in the region the previous November. “[T]he sea was very calm, and there were many dolphins around,” Carzon, also a PhD student at the Centre for Island Research and Environmental Observatory (CRIOBE) in French Polynesia and the École Pratique des Hautes Études in Paris, recalls in an email to The Scientist. “It took us maybe two minutes to spot them: the dark calf was easy to spot among the bottlenose dolphins.”

DOLPHIN ADOPTION: A female bottlenose dolphin in the South Pacific has been sighted with both her own calf and another young cetacean identified as a melon-headed whale.

The mother, dubbed ID#TP25 by the researchers, was known to tolerate divers and boats, and that April day she approached the inflatable with both calves. Carzon grabbed her underwater camera and slipped into the water. “I was able to get good underwater footage and to sex both calves,” she says. ID#TP25’s natural calf was a female; the second calf was male. “I also noticed that both were ‘gently’ pushing each other [in order] to remain under the adult female’s abdomen” in so-called infant position. Continued observation over the following months revealed that the dolphin mom was nursing the foreign calf, whose species ID remains to be confirmed with genetic testing, and otherwise treated him as one of her own.

Carzon had been studying the bottle-nose dolphin community inhabiting the northern part of Rangiroa atoll for a decade and knew that the cetaceans had a history of bringing young animals of other species into their group. In 1996, researchers observed a newborn spinner dolphin (Stenella longirostrisswimming in the slipstream of an adult male bottlenose—a behavior known as echelon swimming and a common interaction between mothers and calves. Scientists also regularly spotted a juvenile spinner dolphin over the next two years, often with a particular adult female bottlenose, Carzon says, although it’s not clear whether it was the same individual they saw as a new born. Then, in November 1998, a new born melon-headed whale spent a few weeks in the area and was filmed swimming in echelon position with the same female bottlenose that had associated with the young spinner dolphin.

More recently, another adult female bottlenose in the same community has twice been seen with young of a different species. In January 2011, she was spotted with a neonate spinner dolphin for a few days, and in February 2018, she was photographed with a new born Fraser’s dolphin (Lagenodelphis hosei), which swam alongside her in echelon position. With such behaviours apparently relatively common within this social group, ID#TP25 may have picked up a thing or two from her conspecific companions, speculates Carzon. “The evidence that bottlenose dolphins are capable of imitation is very strong,” she says. “[S]ocially transmitted ideas or practices from cultural models may have influenced [ID#TP25’s] behaviour.

The adoption was stable, lasting more than two years.

As is the case with most animal adoptions in the wild, how the mother bottlenose came to acquire the melon-headed whale calf is unknown. The calf’s natural mother may have died, or the bottlenose dolphin group may have “kidnapped” it, a behavior that was once observed in a dolphin group in the Bay of Gibraltar, Carzon notes. Whatever scenario landed the outside calf in the care of dolphin ID#TP25, the adoption was stable, lasting more than two years. ID#TP25’s naturalcalf disappeared by early 2016, suggesting it died or weaned early, possibly joining another social group.

There is only one other published case of intraspecies adoption by animals in the wild: for about 14 months in the early 2000s, researchers documented the integration of an infant marmoset (Callithrix jacchus) into a group of capuchin monkeys (Cebus libidinosus) in woodland savanna of central Brazil. A female monkey that the researchers had thought was pregnant but who perhaps lost her own baby cared for the infant marmoset, carrying it on her back and appearing to nurse it. “It was amazing because when she appeared, she was tiny tiny tiny,” says Patrícia Izar, a primate ethologist at the University of São Paulo in Brazil who observed the adoption. “She was really a new born, and she survived.” Izar says she was particularly astonished because she knew that some groups of capuchin monkeys eat young marmosets. Care for the young animal was eventually assumed by another female capuchin, and all group members appeared to tolerate the marmoset’s presence.

As for why intraspecies adoptions do—rarely—occur, wildlife conservation professor Robert Young of the University of Salford in the UK suggests that animals may not recognize that they’re caring for young of another species. In the case of the dolphins, the presumed melon-headed whale is similar in size to the adoptive mother’s own bottlenose dolphin calf, and the dolphins have not evolved a strong ability to differentiate their own young from those of another species. “There’s good reason to think it’s just an identification problem,” says Young, who says he has observed a handful of intraspecies adoptions among black-fronted titi monkeys (Callicebus nigrifrons) in Brazil.

The high levels of oxytocin coursing through mammalian mothers’ bodies and the abundance of resources are also likely to be relevant factors. Indeed, in the case of the capuchin group that took in a marmoset baby, Izar and her colleagues had been providing coconuts to study the animals’ use of stones to crack the fruit open, meaning that the monkeys had plenty of food to eat, and so looking after additional young might have been less costly. Interspecies adoptions are also much more common among domestic and captive animals, for whom food is often plentiful, than they are in the wild, Young notes. “If you’ve got a lactating female dog, you can just about get it to rear any other mammal.”

Documented cases of interspecies adoption among the Rangiroa dolphins and Brazilian monkeys “shows that it’s not impossible,” says Izar. “I think that in time we will have other cases in the wild.”



creds to: https://www.the-scientist.com/

Bottlenose Dolphin Adopts Whale Calf of Another Species

Interspecies adoptions are rare, but it’s not the first time this population of dolphins in French Polynesia has attempted it.

From a small inflatable boat in the Rangiroa atoll in French Polynesia, Pamela Carzon got her first glimpse of the “strange” trio of marine mammals she’d been told about: a bottlenose dolphin mother (Tursiops truncatus), her seven-month-old calf, and another young cetacean that was slightly smaller and looked to be not a bottlenose dolphin at all, but a melon-headed whale (Peponocephala electra). 

It was April 2015, and Carzon and a colleague at the Marine Mammal Study Group of French Polynesia, a nongovernmental organization dedicated to whale and dolphin conservation, were out for the NGO’s annual photo-ID survey, very much hoping to find animals that a former collaborator had seen while diving in the region the previous November. “[T]he sea was very calm, and there were many dolphins around,” Carzon, also a PhD student at the Center for Island Research and Environmental Observatory (CRIOBE) in French Polynesia and the École Pratique des Hautes Études in Paris, recalls in an email to The Scientist. “It took us maybe two minutes to spot them: the dark calf was easy to spot among the bottlenose dolphins.”

DOLPHIN ADOPTION: A female bottlenose dolphin in the South Pacific has been sighted with both her own calf and another young cetacean identified as a melon-headed whale.

The mother, dubbed ID#TP25 by the researchers, was known to tolerate divers and boats, and that April day she approached the inflatable with both calves. Carzon grabbed her underwater camera and slipped into the water. “I was able to get good underwater footage and to sex both calves,” she says. ID#TP25’s natural calf was a female; the second calf was male. “I also noticed that both were ‘gently’ pushing each other [in order] to remain under the adult female’s abdomen” in so-called infant position. Continued observation over the following months revealed that the dolphin mom was nursing the foreign calf, whose species ID remains to be confirmed with genetic testing, and otherwise treated him as one of her own.

Carzon had been studying the bottle-nose dolphin community inhabiting the northern part of Rangiroa atoll for a decade and knew that the cetaceans had a history of bringing young animals of other species into their group. In 1996, researchers observed a newborn spinner dolphin (Stenella longirostrisswimming in the slipstream of an adult male bottlenose—a behavior known as echelon swimming and a common interaction between mothers and calves. Scientists also regularly spotted a juvenile spinner dolphin over the next two years, often with a particular adult female bottlenose, Carzon says, although it’s not clear whether it was the same individual they saw as a newborn. Then, in November 1998, a newborn melon-headed whale spent a few weeks in the area and was filmed swimming in echelon position with the same female bottlenose that had associated with the young spinner dolphin.

More recently, another adult female bottlenose in the same community has twice been seen with young of a different species. In January 2011, she was spotted with a neonate spinner dolphin for a few days, and in February 2018, she was photographed with a newborn Fraser’s dolphin (Lagenodelphis hosei), which swam alongside her in echelon position. With such behaviors apparently relatively common within this social group, ID#TP25 may have picked up a thing or two from her conspecific companions, speculates Carzon. “The evidence that bottlenose dolphins are capable of imitation is very strong,” she says. “[S]ocially transmitted ideas or practices from cultural models may have influenced [ID#TP25’s] behavior.” 

As is the case with most animal adoptions in the wild, how the mother bottlenose came to acquire the melon-headed whale calf is unknown. The calf’s natural mother may have died, or the bottlenose dolphin group may have “kidnapped” it, a behavior that was once observed in a dolphin group in the

Bay of Gibraltar, Carzon notes. Whatever scenario landed the outside calf in the care of dolphin ID#TP25, the adoption was stable, lasting more than two years. ID#TP25’s naturalcalf disappeared by early 2016, suggesting it died or weaned early, possibly joining another social group.

There is only one other published case of intraspecies adoption by animals in the wild: for about 14 months in the early 2000s, researchers documented the integration of an infant marmoset (Callithrix jacchus) into a group of capuchin monkeys (Cebus libidinosus) in woodland savanna of central Brazil. A female monkey that the researchers had thought was pregnant but who perhaps lost her own baby cared for the infant marmoset, carrying it on her back and appearing to nurse it. “It was amazing because when she appeared, she was tiny tiny tiny,” says Patrícia Izar, a primate ethologist at the University of São Paulo in Brazil who observed the adoption. “She was really a newborn, and she survived.” Izar says she was particularly astonished because she knew that some groups of capuchin monkeys eat young marmosets. Care for the young animal was eventually assumed by another female capuchin, and all group members appeared to tolerate the marmoset’s presence.

As for why intraspecies adoptions do—rarely—occur, wildlife conservation professor Robert Young of the University of Salford in the UK suggests that animals may not recognize that they’re caring for young of another species. In the case of the dolphins, the presumed melon-headed whale is similar in size to the adoptive mother’s own bottlenose dolphin calf, and the dolphins have not evolved a strong ability to differentiate their own young from those of another species. “There’s good reason to think it’s just an identification problem,” says Young, who says he has observed a handful of intraspecies adoptions among black-fronted titi monkeys (Callicebus nigrifrons) in Brazil.

The high levels of oxytocin coursing through mammalian mothers’ bodies and the abundance of resources are also likely to be relevant factors. Indeed, in the case of the capuchin group that took in a marmoset baby, Izar and her colleagues had been providing coconuts to study the animals’ use of stones to crack the fruit open, meaning that the monkeys had plenty of food to eat, and so looking after additional young might have been less costly. Interspecies adoptions are also much more common among domestic and captive animals, for whom food is often plentiful, than they are in the wild, Young notes. “If you’ve got a lactating female dog, you can just about get it to rear any other mammal.”

Documented cases of interspecies adoption among the Rangiroa dolphins and Brazilian monkeys “shows that it’s not impossible,” says Izar. “I think that in time we will have other cases in the wild.”

The adoption was stable, lasting more than two years.



sorce: https://www.the-scientist.com/

Discover why whales get stranded

A new study reported in the journal Current Biology on February 24 offers some of the first evidence that grey whales might depend on a magnetic sense to find their way through the ocean. This evidence comes from the discovery that whales are more likely to strand on days when there are more sunspots.

Sunspots are of interest because they are also linked to solar storms — sudden releases of high-energy particles from the sun that have the potential to disrupt magnetic orientation behaviuor when they interact with Earth’s magnetosphere. But what’s unique about the new study, according to the researchers, is that they were able to explore how a solar storm might cause whales to strand themselves.

“Is it that the solar storms are pushing the magnetic field around and giving the whales incorrect information — for example, the whale thinks it is on 4th Street, but it is actually on 8th?” asks Jesse Granger of Duke University. “Or is it that the solar storms are messing up the receptor itself — the whale thinks it is on 4th Street, but has just gone blind?

“We show that the mechanism behind the relationship between solar storms and grey whales, if it is an effect on a magnetic sensor, is likely caused by disruption to the sense itself, not inaccurate information. So, to put this back into the earlier metaphor, the big secondary finding of this paper is that it is possible that the reason the whales are stranding so much more often when there are solar storms is because they have gone blind, rather than that their internal GPS is giving them false information.”

Granger says her interest in long-distance migrations stems in part from her own personal tendency to get lost, even on her way to the grocery store. She wanted to explore how some animals use magnetoreception to navigate by looking at incidents when navigation went terribly wrong.

“I hypothesized that by looking at patterns in the spacing and timing of incidents where an animal was unable to navigate properly, we could better understand the sense as a whole,” Granger says.

She and her colleagues studied 186 live stranding of the grey whale (Eschrichtius robustus). The data showed those stranding occurred significantly more often on days with high sunspot counts than on randomly chosen days. On days with a high sunspot count, the chance of a stranding more than doubled.

Further study showed that stranding happened more often on days with a high solar radio flux index, as measured from Earth, than on randomly chosen days. On days with high RF noise, the likelihood of stranding was more than four times greater than on randomly selected days.

Much to Granger’s surprise, they found no significant increase in stranding on days with large deviations in the magnetic field. Altogether, the findings suggest that the increased incidence of stranding on days with more sunspots is explained by a disruption of whales’ magnetoreceptive sensor, rather than distortion of the geomagnetic field itself.

“I really thought that the cause of the stranding was going to be inaccurate information,” Granger said. “When those results came up negative, I was flummoxed. It wasn’t until one of my co-authors mentioned that solar storms also produce high amounts of radio-frequency noise, and I remembered that radio-frequency noise can disrupt magnetic orientation, that things finally started to click together.”

Granger says it’s important to keep in mind that this isn’t the only cause of stranding. There are still many other things that could cause a whale to strand, such as mid-frequency naval sonar.

Granger now plans to conduct a similar analysis for several other species of whales on several other continents to see if this pattern exists on a more global scale. She also hopes to see what sort of information this broader picture of stranding can offer for our understanding of whales’ magnetic sense.

Source: https://www.sciencedaily.com/

Image: https://abcnews.go.com/

The most effective way to become a Dolphin Trainer

What does a dolphin trainer do?

They create and modify dolphin behaviour in stages by teaching them to associate signals with the desired behaviour. With experience, trainers can assist vets when basic procedures need to be performed to promote and maintain the dolphin’s health.

What courses are available?

Until now, the only way you could gain any practical knowledge, was to attend a short course which lasted between three to ten days, at a dolphin facility. The average cost of these courses is around $1,500 plus your travel costs. These courses are, in my view, too short to gain any meaningful understanding of training techniques and only basic signals are taught. They do provide an opportunity to handle a dolphin, but you can experience this at a fraction of the price in a trainer for a day experience. These courses will not teach you all you need to know and certainly they will not enable you to train behaviours from scratch and being able to understand Operant Conditioning properly.

What does the Via Dolphin course offer?

Firstly, let me just get one thing clear, if you are looking for a course that will result in a certification or qualification that would enable you to work with dolphins, I am afraid they do not exist. Our course does provide a certificate but it is not accredited in any way, since there is no such accreditation for dolphin training.

One of the reasons why I created the course was following my years of training people to become dolphin trainers, I realised that there was no course available that would teach you all the most relevant information, to enable someone to gain knowledge as a dolphin trainer. Most employers either want trainers with some experience or they accept that beginners will not have any knowledge and they train them themselves, however they will not pass on all the required knowledge because they want to keep ahead and fear someone gaining more knowledge than them, would be a threat to them.

I realise you may be concerned, that you will not be able to simply show an employer a certificate and get a job, but the knowledge you will learn with this course, will enable you to progress faster and further once you are in a job and impress potential employers that you have completed a course that then familiarises you with vital knowledge, such as training techniques and tips which you can use from day one. Even if you have a degree in marine biology, this will not give you any real advantage as a dolphin trainer, so my course is the only method of gaining vital knowledge, tips and advice about training dolphins.

My course gives you countless tips and advice from all my years of training trainers and dolphins alike, plus what no-one wants to teach you, Operant Conditioning, which is the most successful technique in training of any sort. With step by step guides and real-life problem-solving training techniques, the course will give you what no other course or guide can offer you.

What if I am still unsure?

In my view, you should ask these questions;

  • How extensive is the course content, what will I know at the end of it?
  • What level of experience does the course provider have?
  • Will I forget what I have learnt or will I have the information to refer to always?
  • Does the course teach me from scratch to train multiple behaviours?
  • Is it value for money?

There are many companies out there offering the alternative courses to mine, but in my view, most have the same problems in common. They only last a few days and no-one can learn to become a trainer so quickly. Despite the high cost, they cannot teach you step by step, how to train multiple behaviours in a week or so. You need months of practice and during such time, being able to refer to the training course material, including helpful tips, will be essential. In my experience, all the Dolphin Trainers I have known do not want to teach you all they know, simply because they fear the completion and want to retain their position. I have no such fear, my only wish is that whilst I earn a little money from passing on my knowledge, Dolphin Trainers will be successful and dolphins will be treated better. To me everyone wins, I pass on my knowledge, you reach your full potential and fulfil your dreams of becoming a good Dolphin Trainer and the dolphin benefit from being trained positively, with love, care and attention.

What are the different stages of a Dolphin Trainers’ career?

To begin your career, you will usually start as an Assistant Trainer, assisting the Senior Trainers in all their activities. You will learn to give the most basic signals and also learn how to present different types of behaviours. You will also learn how to prepare the dolphins diet and undertake some basic tasks, within the dolphin area.

Mid-level trainers or Senior Trainers, supervise the Assistant Trainers and whilst they present and perform the programs, they may not have advanced knowledge or be able to cope with complex behavioural problems.

Supervisor Trainers are advanced trainers with extensive knowledge of training techniques and they are capable of training other trainers. They will usually have to oversee the various programs in the dolphin area and will have advanced knowledge of how to avoid and fix complex behavioural problems.

How can I reach my full potential?

There are not many trainers out there who know how to train a dolphin from scratch. Most of them know how to present a show and how to do an interactive program, by just learning the signals. To learn to train a dolphin from scratch takes many years of experience, but those who know, don’t give their secrets away.

You must plan the path ahead and set out your desired end goal; then you must know the steps or keys achievements, necessary along that path.

If your gaol is to become a great Dolphin Trainer then here is my suggestion to achieving that goal;

How can Via Dolphin help me reach the top?

I have explained why my course is different and the only course that offers step by step instructions, teaching you how to train a dolphin form scratch and many other behaviours. It also explains in detail what no other course does, Operant Conditioning. You will learn all the knowledge a trainer needs for behaviour training and its techniques. You will also learn the basics of husbandry behaviours, basic behaviour troubleshooting, how to handle a dolphin in any kind of environment and situation, manoeuvres, transportation and all aspects of animal care. Lastly it provides so many tips and secrets that no other trainer will tell you, in a format that you can keep forever, that it is without question, excellent value for money.

Is there a support community I can be part of whilst I learn?

I wanted to offer something different, something nobody else offers, a complete trainer’s knowledge guide, a community and an environment where you can develop as great trainer. I have created forums with my Facebook pages and groups, which will provide support where you will be able to learn more about dolphins. You will be able to interact with over 2,000 trainers worldwide, where you can ask any question you may have.

Via Dolphin group This is our dolphin community, which offers an interactive trainers forum of animal lovers’ trainers news and fun!

Mentoring for trainer’s page Here you can access scientific research and training videos, which will help you, improving your training techniques.

Learn how to train your dolphin group (Educational group) This is a private group where you can find information about dolphins and sea lions training, educational material and infomercials as well as videos.

If you really are interested and want to go further, to pursue your dream job all the way and you want to develop as a trainer, we will give you an amazing start…

So, if you are wondering how to start, here I offer to you a map that will help you design your path.

Follow this link to save the two steps; https://cutt.ly/viadolphinmentoring

Trainer’s Requirements Chart:  This is my example of all the necessary things you need to reach your dream job……. a great Dolphin Trainer

Your Path to Success: Once you know all the things that you need, you can plan out where you want to start and what you will do to achieve all the steps towards your dream job.

How to avoid misunderstandings during interactive programs

In my extended years as a trainer I had the opportunity to train dolphins from scratch for shows and swimming programs many times. We trainers are very curious and we always enjoy to visit new facilities and see other animals and trainers working.

Over the years, during visits to facilities and observing others on-line, the one thing common to all of them, is the interaction between the trainers, customers and the animals. The experience for all should be pleasurable and if any person or animal is struggling during the experience, their enjoyment will suffer. I believe my experience and advice can help avoid any such struggle and help make the interaction really enjoyable for trainers, customers and animals alike. Hopefully my help will make it easier, especially for young trainers, to develop their skills, perform their tasks easier and create a positive environment for all.

Handling people in the water can be difficult in itself add to this, handling the animals’ behaviour at the same time and it can be very challenging. Furthermore, in seminatural environments, where sea currents are a factor, the weather can also add to the difficulty of that challenge.

Here is my advice to help with the challenge of handling both animals and customers in the water.

How to avoid confusion and accidents during swimming programs

Sometimes the dolphins, being animals, want to swim away and play with other dolphins, they are not totally under your control, swimming in-between the customers and generally not behaving in the best way. In that situation the trainer is struggling to ask the animal for a behaviuor or juggling with two animals and interacting with the people at the same time. The trick is, as a trainer you should be patient and actually take advantage of their playful nature and enjoy it together. If you are open minded, here are some techniques and tips you can use.

If your dolphins are chasing after each other, the best thing is to bring the people in the water, as close as possible to the platform or to an area where the water is shallow. Here the animal has less opportunity to manoeuvre, so stay there until the animals are ready to go on with the interaction.

If you are working with two dolphins and one of them is giving you trouble, ask the animal giving trouble, to go under your station as many times as possible, to create a break in their unwanted behaviour. When that animal least expects it, send them to do an interactive behaviour such as kiss or petting.

If the situation is too difficult, then ask another trainer, or use one of your assistants to help in the water, while you are correcting your animal’s behaviour. Having an assistant in the water during your program is actually more professional, you will get a much more positive outcome from the customers in the water. With staff in the water, people make better connections and interact more confidently, whilst also having much more fun. This will make the peoples experience, more exciting and unforgettable. If you have implemented, amongst the trainers, a set of signals to communicate in case of emergencies, then this will make it even easier. In addition, the trainer is more concentrated on the animal and has much more control.

Avoid problems when moving people around

Trainers are responsible for the program, they must keep their eyes wide open, observing closely at all times, whilst doing program. The area of interaction should be clear and enjoyable, for the animal, the people and the trainer. Trainers must keep their animals focused during an interactive program. Finally, it is important to remark and make clear, that the whole area in front of the platform is only for the animal to manoeuvre within, where they receive their reinforcement.

Avoid accidents by continuously scanning the environment during a program and by keeping the right distance.

Must Dolphinarium comply with international measurement rules, whether they are artificial or seminatural, trainers should be able to perform the programs in comfort. When starting a program, the people should be kept away from the front of platform, put them where you can see everyone’s movement, including the animals when they interact. After the introductions between the animals, the people and the trainer, place the people on the left side of the platform and one by one or two if you prefer send them forward to do the behaviour with the animal. When the behaviour has finished, send them to the right side of the platform. This means those who haven’t performed the behaviour are on the left of the platform and those who has done it are on the right.

For behaviours like petting or kissing, trainers should make sure they take the first people from the left and position the people in front of platform at least 4 metres away from the platform. When they have finished tell the people to go to wait on the right-hand side. For behaviours where the people should come closer to the dolphin, such as a kiss, trainers should keep the people at least one metre away from the animal and the best way of doing this is for the trainer to target or handle the animal very closely. Dolphins measure from six to twelve feet in length and their movements are very quick, so they need enough space to move around. They could hit somebody without even realising. Trainers must constantly monitor the distance between the animal and the people in the water, to avoid accidents, this is very important. Never forget, to keep a clear the space in front of the platform, this space is only for the animals.

Keep the animal engaged

Trainers should be able to know and understand the behaviour of the animal they are working with. Observe the animals body language, when they are about to misbehave, there is always a precursor, they usually give the trainer a look…like saying…watch what I am going to do next… The trainer’s job is to have the vision and to be able to predict their next unwanted behaviour, which is usually avoidable, if a trainer knows their animal and are focused. Their cheeky look to the trainer, will allow the trainer to anticipate their next move. When you see the first sign act on it. Change the scenario, in other words ask the dolphin for a behaviour that requires their concentration or move around with your animal or give the animal secondary reinforcement, anything that distracts them from what you preserved to be their next unwanted behaviour.

All situations have solutions

If your animal is not interested in a particular interaction, work with another animal, if available. If there are other programs around you can distribute your people amongst the other group, so they are distracted from the current situation.

HAVE FUN!!

Chinese white dolphin population dwindling, says govt report


The number of Chinese white dolphins in Hong Kong waters has been decreasing, according to the latest official statistics, suggesting that government efforts to preserve the endangered species appear to be making little headway.

According to the 2016/17 Marine Mammals Monitoring Report published by the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department (AFCD), there were only 47 sightings of Chinese white dolphins in the waters off Lantau, where they tend to appear most often.

The number represented a 27 percent drop from the previous year and the lowest since 2002. There were no sightings for the second year in a row in the northeast waters of Lantau, where the main construction work for the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge is taking place

In 1997, the Chinese white dolphin was chosen as the mascot to mark Hong Kong’s return to Chinese rule. It is listed among the wild animals under Grade 1 conservation according to Chinese law.

To prepare the report on marine mammals, researchers conducted a total of 178 line-transect vessel surveys in 10 survey areas in Hong Kong waters between April 2016 and March 2017.

Of the 1,233 dolphins sighted during the 12-month period, including Chinese white dolphins, only 17 were unspotted juveniles.

These young calves comprised only 1.4 percent of the total, compared with nearly 8 percent in 2003, suggesting the population of dolphins may dwindle in the future.

Dr. Samuel Hung Ka-yiu, chairman of the Hong Kong Dolphin Conservation Society and lead writer of the AFCD report, said the construction of the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge has had a great impact on the habitat of the Chinese white dolphin, according to hk01.com.

Construction of the planned third runway and the high-speed ferries that regularly pass the waters are further threats to the animals’ survival, Hung said.

To help preserve the dolphins, Hung urged the government to establish a large marine protected area in West Lantau waters.

“Habitat destruction from expanding reclamation work in Lantau waters and the hi-speed marine traffic in the area have increased the stress on the dolphin population,” the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) said. “The underwater noise generated inhibits their echolocation capability.”

These disturbances threaten the survival of the remaining dolphins in Hong Kong waters, said Samantha Lee, WWF-Hong Kong conservation manager for oceans.

WWF-Hong Kong urges the government to establish the West Lantau Marine Park as soon as possible to protect the remaining dolphin habitats.

source: https://www.ejinsight.com/

Find out the true about becoming a dolphin trainer

The story nobody mentions…

Are you ready to become a dolphin Trainer?

But, wait!

There are some things you should know before…

You must know all the stages they go through before they reach the end goal!

 1st stage

Most of beginners start by showing off with the animals, but that is just a honey moon process, a period when you just want to play with them and do whatever you like, of course! according to the rules, you feel like having all the fun possible. After six months, it all starts to fade away, at the end of that period new trainers or assistant trainers start to realize that it takes a lot of work to keep it up, they also start understanding that is very strenuous and highly demanding, energy wise.

 2nd stage

When you have been a year in the job and all your enthusiasm had levelled off and you get tired of been smelly, not having pretty nails in the case of the girls, not having pretty hair, not been able to wear high heels, because you have spent ten hours treading in deep water. Then you stop…and think, asking yourself…hmmm…is this really for me?

 3rd stage

The whole process is normal and very common, around 30% of trainers make it and stick with it, those who do make it, fall in love with the animals and don’t care about the rest, it is kind of like a drug, the more they do it, the more you want to do it, the beautiful thing is that its becomes a long live skills and career, it ends up not being a job anymore, it turns into your passion forever.

There is nothing or anybody who can turn you away from it!

Female trainers take it very seriously, their maternal instinct makes them protect the animals as if they were their babies, providing the best care for them. Management knows that and that is why you see must of animal carer staff are Females.

When you are working as a dolphin trainer after fifteen or twenty years, you kind of stop and think again, did I have enough?

Some of the trainers wants to go on doing it, but on another level and not far away from the animals.

Well, guess what!… at this stage, you would only find that 15% of them reach the end goal.

I have the feeling and I think I know what you might be thinking!

Well… if only 15% reach the end goal, why would I even bother to try?

How do you know you are not in the 15%?

I say, why wouldn’t you try?

Happiness is who you become after trying those little things that call your attention and things that you like and enjoy doing the most, that is called passion, that is your blue print… your purpose in live.

What if you really like it?

Believe me, I am in the 15% and it’s very much worth a try, it’s one of the most rewarding, beautiful and important decisions I have ever made in my live.

No regrets whatsoever!

Love it!

Hey, listen… if you really like it, go for it!

At the end of the day, human spirit is the hardest thing to kill on earth, not even you could kill it.

It will bite you back one day…

Wish you good luck!

Discover How Trainers Develop Their Knowledge

Knowing the process of behaviour training procedure, is key for a trainer’s career. During your career, you cannot predict where you will be working in the future and the more you learn, hopefully the stronger your position will be as a trainer. You will find that for you to develop and to not get stuck, it is a great advantage to learn to train a behaviour from scratch (the beginning).

There is no right or wrong way of training an animal just different ways to achieve your desired goal. Knowing and developing different routes and strategies of training, will not only be good for when you get stuck, but you will actually have many different ways to explain what you need to your animal and they will understand easier and faster.

Companies have different methods and procedures, they don’t all work in the same way. Positive Reinforcement/Operant Conditioning is recognised globally as the most positive training method; therefore, companies may change their working systems, but this should not affect or change the way an animal is trained. A trainer is a teacher and each teacher havs their own technique or way of training; the most important thing is that their subject is learnt in a happy positive environment.

If you want to keep ahead of the game you must learn to train a behaviour from scratch. This will allow you to glide through problem solving/troubleshooting and succeed to become a top trainer. This is the main issue for young trainers anywhere they go, how to learn a behaviour from its beginning.

Our Dolphin Trainer Course was designed to give you this knowledge.

Trainers usually change companies during their career, to improve their career because they want more success, working for different companies makes you learn more and develop different techniques. The more you work for different companies the more possibility you have to develop, by working with different people, different systems and different animals. There is a high possibility that you might have to train an animal that has never been trained before. Being open minded is one of the most important characteristics of a trainer, this could save your career!!

One of the main reasons this website was created for trainer’s self-improvement and for

trainer’s self-development.