This is a student post written by Amanda
Discovery Cove opened in 2000 as the first park that allowed visitors to swim alongside the dolphins. They only allow a thousand people into the park so the animals don’t get stressed.
There are so many wonderful creatures at Discovery Cove such as bottlenose dolphins, common dolphins, sting rays, eagle rays, exotic birds and too many tropical fish to count!
If you want to go to Discovery Cove, there are a few things you will need to know. First, you’ll need to wear a special sunscreen that is okay for the animals. You will have to wear a wet suit or swim vest. You can’t wear jewelry or dangling strings.
The Discovery Cove trainers let the dolphins decide if they want to stay with the trainers or go off on their own. None of teh dolphins are forced to do anything and they will still get their fish. It’s all about the animals, not the visitors. If a dolphin goes off to do their own thing then another one comes to fill in.
The area I swam in was called The Sea Horse. There were fourteen dolphins training there. There are 48 dolphins in all. The dolphin I rode on is called Capricorn. He is 40 years old. He is known for his role in Jaws 3 and was one of the first dolphins to appear at Sea World. Capricorn is nice and gentle. He kept flopping over on his back to get a belly rub. He acted much like a dog!
One dolphin looked different from the rest. It was a hybrid. A hybrid is like a mutt. Usually, the common dolphins and bottlenose dolphins are separated into different pens. That didn’t stop one common dolphin from jumping into the other pen though!
I spent the day as a trainer for the dolphins. I learned how to teach the dolphins to do tricks and how to feed them. My favorite time was when I swam on Capricorn’s belly. I learned how much work it takes to train the dolphins to do tricks.
Now that I have been to Discovery Cove, I have a new respect for dolphins!
*Have you ever been to Discovery Cove before?*
*What would you like most about swimming with dolphins?*
*If you could spend a day with one animal, what would it be?*