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78020-18 by 0rcinusorca 78020-18 by 0rcinusorca
Another picture from the really old pool. I really had forgotten how terribly small it was for so many dolphins. This Pacific White Sided Dolphin liked to nip at fingers, possibly learned that people drop fish when she did it. When I didn't have any fish, nor react in the way everyone else seemed to, she took more interest in me. After a few visits, she became more friendly and liked the attention. She was easy to recognize due to the spot pattern on her rostrum partially visible here.

The dolphins tended to hang around me for the attention, which then tended to attract children as you can see.

It was at this tank during one visit when I witnessed a dolphin falling out of the tank.

Perhaps falling is the wrong word, the whole group was swimming rapidly around the tank making waves getting everyone wet. Everyone else started to leave but I just backed up and stayed. A couple minutes later, one surfaced to breathe just at the same point where the wave swell peaked the wall. It wound up balancing on the wall for a moment, and before I could even move, it rolled and flopped over onto the cement with a thud. I ran over to check on it while the fish booth guy was dialing the phone. I could see he was surprised and panicked. A minute or so later, I see 4 or 5 guys come running our way and lift him back in to the tank.
:iconselenethewerewolf:
SeleneTheWerewolf Featured By Owner May 29, 2013
How do you react when a dolphin nips at you? I still love your photos
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:icon0rcinusorca:
0rcinusorca Featured By Owner May 29, 2013
I try to minimize my reaction to instinctively pull back. With their sharp pointed teeth it's like drawing a set of needles across your skin which leaves scratches or can even break the skin and it does hurt. It's also sort of a game to them at times too, "Scare the Human". I keep still as possible to show them that I trust them to not intentionally hurt me. If you look at the ones named Trust and Trust 2 with the Orcas they actually are gripping my fingers with their teeth. There were several occasions where they 'invited' me into the water to play by gently pulling on my hand, well gently by their standards, it was still a strong pull for me.

There has been an 'accident' or two and I do have rake marks to show for my efforts.

As a side note : Trust is with Kasatka, the same Orca who 'attacked' trainer Ken Peters in 2006 as well as others over the years. These Orcas were in this open unrestricted public access pool for over a year where the public had 'hands-on' access and *no one* was ever hurt. I think this speaks very strongly to how much over 3 decades of captivity has corrupted these highly intelligent gentle beings.
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May 29, 2013
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