Whoops! I accidentally posted this week’s Middle Flipper blog on my husband’s tumblr account.  Womp womp!The silver lining is you get to read all about Lily the dolphin today!  Her 11th birthday was yesterday, so I figured telling you all a funny experience I had with her recently was appropriate.  Enjoy!A Birthday Special: Lily and the Palm Frond

Whoops! I accidentally posted this week’s Middle Flipper blog on my husband’s tumblr account.  Womp womp!

The silver lining is you get to read all about Lily the dolphin today!  Her 11th birthday was yesterday, so I figured telling you all a funny experience I had with her recently was appropriate.  Enjoy!

A Birthday Special: Lily and the Palm Frond



Working with multiple species of animals is one of the most incredible experiences I’ve had.  It’s easy to get stuck on your “favorite” animal, but learning how to interact with different types of animals teaches you lessons in humility, patience, and acceptance….which make you a better animal caretaker (and that’s what it’s all about).  But learning new things is not just for newbies, it’s especially important experienced trainers challenge themselves and get outside of their comfort zone, too.

Today’s Middle Flipper is about my recent humbling journey learning how to work with new species of animals after years of only working with dolphins. Enjoy!

From Experienced to Newbie: Learning A New Animal Species Later In Your Career


Prepping fish is obviously one of the most important parts of taking caring of marine mammals in any kind of marine mammal facility.  But the fish house serves more than just a commissary area.  Today’s Middle Flipper takes a deeper look into the special qualities of the fish kitchen!?Fish House Confessional: The Water Cooler of Marine Mammal Trainers

Prepping fish is obviously one of the most important parts of taking caring of marine mammals in any kind of marine mammal facility.  But the fish house serves more than just a commissary area.  Today’s Middle Flipper takes a deeper look into the special qualities of the fish kitchen!?

Fish House Confessional: The Water Cooler of Marine Mammal Trainers


The vast majority of marine mammal trainers started their careers as interns.  And while being an intern is arguable the “lowest” position you can have in the field, it’s important to remember as you move up the ranks that you should treat everyone with the same respect.   Today’s Middle Flipper is about my first lesson in humility with an intern after I was hired as a full time trainer.  It may or may not involve me doing something stupid with a dumpster.  :)Read on!

The vast majority of marine mammal trainers started their careers as interns.  And while being an intern is arguable the “lowest” position you can have in the field, it’s important to remember as you move up the ranks that you should treat everyone with the same respect. 
 
Today’s Middle Flipper is about my first lesson in humility with an intern after I was hired as a full time trainer.  It may or may not involve me doing something stupid with a dumpster.  :)

Read on!


Q
What's the difference between working with Bottlenose dolphins and lags? Also do you know anyone that's worked with Commerson's dolphins? I've heard they have a low attention span.
Anonymous
A

I’ve only known two L. obliquidens, but they are generally like on fast-forward.  Their morphology is different, so the way they move is a little different than the bottlenose.  But I haven’t worked with enough lags to give you a really accurate comparison.

I do know people who have worked with Commerson’s; some have told me they think they have a shorter attention span, while others say it depends on the individual!


Q
That article on the "Six Facts" thing was freaking brilliant! Way to go girl! Keep inspiring people!
Anonymous
A

Thanks! :)


There are a lot of people on tumblr with many different opinions about marine mammals in human care.  Some of them (from both sides!) are well-informed, and make an actual difference in the lives of the animals.  But of the outrageous claims many of the naysayers say, the most ridiculous is that my colleagues and I are in the field for selfish reasons.  The recent blog article 6 Awful Realities Behind the Scenes at SeaWorld really demonstrates what happens when you try to get into a field with the main motivation being bragging about your life as a dolphin trainer.Read on for the Middle Flipper’s response.

There are a lot of people on tumblr with many different opinions about marine mammals in human care.  Some of them (from both sides!) are well-informed, and make an actual difference in the lives of the animals.  

But of the outrageous claims many of the naysayers say, the most ridiculous is that my colleagues and I are in the field for selfish reasons.  The recent blog article 6 Awful Realities Behind the Scenes at SeaWorld really demonstrates what happens when you try to get into a field with the main motivation being bragging about your life as a dolphin trainer.

Read on for the Middle Flipper’s response.


My grandmother passed away last Monday.  Today’s Middle Flipper comes a day late, because I was back at home for her funeral.  Thinking about the love and life my grandma had made me think about the feelings we experience when an animal companion passes away due to old age.  

Today’s Middle Flipper looks into the minds of animal lovers during a time of loss.



weird-amphibious-dolphin:

themiddleflipper:

Wild bottlenose dolphins in the Gulf of Mexico.  I took these photos this morning.  Just wanted to show everyone how gorgeous these animals are, and how despite some misinformed people saying otherwise, dolphins do rake each other in the wild.  The last picture is a dolphin biting another one’s peduncle.  They are just as complicated as we are: not all kind or good or peaceful, not all malicious or aggressive.

All photos copyrighted.

Nah they’re more complicated than we are.

Humans are animals, too ;) I’d say we’re all complicated, none more than the other.