Are we all smiling because summer is almost over? Well, maybe not all of you.  Maybe summer means back to school, or work, or whatever.  But many of us not only work through the summer, but it’s our busiest season.  It means lots of long hours and sometimes it makes us pretty tired.  However, I think summers are a blast in the marine mammal field.  The animals at any point can tell us, “Uh, I’m so over this show.  Good luck k bye”, so we have to work together to make sure everyone (humans and non-humans) find the fun in summer.Today’s Middle Flipper looks back on a great busy season.  What did you guys do this summer?What I Did This Summer

Are we all smiling because summer is almost over? 

Well, maybe not all of you.  Maybe summer means back to school, or work, or whatever.  But many of us not only work through the summer, but it’s our busiest season.  It means lots of long hours and sometimes it makes us pretty tired.  However, I think summers are a blast in the marine mammal field.  The animals at any point can tell us, “Uh, I’m so over this show.  Good luck k bye”, so we have to work together to make sure everyone (humans and non-humans) find the fun in summer.

Today’s Middle Flipper looks back on a great busy season.  What did you guys do this summer?

What I Did This Summer


Who loves penguins???
"Oh, me!! They are so beautiful and majestic!  Wait, THOSE aren’t penguins!"
"What do you mean those are penguins? Isn’t it too hot?"
"Those aren’t real penguins."

I’ve learned over my employment at my current facility that even though penguins are definitely on the “Elite Animal Group” list in many people’s heads, that really only seems to apply to cold weather penguins.  In fact, there is an entire class of animal species who never become people’s favorites, and I’d like to know why.   At my facility, the African penguin is, for some reason, not a member of the Elite Animal Group (from a  guest perspective).  But all of us trainers think they are awesome because, uh, they are.  Therefore, today’s Middle Flipper is all about them.  And if you are tempted to not read about them, then maybe that’s a sign you SHOULD.Penguins Are Cool (Unless They’re Hot)

Who loves penguins???

"Oh, me!! They are so beautiful and majestic!  Wait, THOSE aren’t penguins!"

"What do you mean those are penguins? Isn’t it too hot?"

"Those aren’t real penguins."

I’ve learned over my employment at my current facility that even though penguins are definitely on the “Elite Animal Group” list in many people’s heads, that really only seems to apply to cold weather penguins.  In fact, there is an entire class of animal species who never become people’s favorites, and I’d like to know why.   

At my facility, the African penguin is, for some reason, not a member of the Elite Animal Group (from a  guest perspective).  But all of us trainers think they are awesome because, uh, they are.  Therefore, today’s Middle Flipper is all about them.  And if you are tempted to not read about them, then maybe that’s a sign you SHOULD.

Penguins Are Cool (Unless They’re Hot)


8.5.14, Destin Pass (Destin, FL) in the Gulf of Mexico

This morning around 11:00am I saw this group of people on jet skies harass two cow/calf bottlenose dolphin pairs.  They pushed the dolphins towards our boat (which was in about 4 feet of water on a sandbar) which did not allow the dolphins to get out of the jet ski corral.  We started backing up, but got stopped by a parasailing boat and more jet skis, so I took the opportunity to 1) take a bunch of hi-res photos of these people, and 2) try to calmly and nicely explain to them that they were trapping the dolphins and needed to give them more room.

Well, they ignored us.  When we were finally able to get out of there, we lost our tempers and I pulled my phone out to take a video of how horrible these people were to these animals.  This is the result (and I swear, sorry!).

FWC was notified and I have an album on this video on my Facebook.  But can we get this moved around the internet to at least embarrass these people so they’ll learn how to safely and respectfully observe wildlife?


Q
Where do you train marine mammals? Sorry, I'm interested because I don't agree with all aquariums (I'm sure you know what in referring to)
Anonymous
A

I work at a small, privately-owned facility.  I’ve worked at three others previous to that, and have worked at show, interactive, and rescue/rehab facilities.


Q
I've done one marine mammal internship, am about to start an internship at a zoo, and I am graduating from college in December. Based on your "Tips for Good Interning", I should be applying for jobs right? I still feel so unprepared! During my SeaWorld interview for a training position, they asked what my training experience was, and I realized then that I really haven't trained an animal ever. I have worked with animals a lot, but not actively training. Does this mean I'm not ready for a job?
Anonymous
A

It’s a catch 22, seriously.  The more internships you have does not equate to more animal experience.  So just keep applying and honing your interview skills.  Sometimes the questions about training experience has more to do with how well you interview, your technical knowledge of training (like terminology and hypotheticals) than it does your actual experience…because they are going to teach you their methods of training anyway.  They won’t just let you come in and start working with the animals.


Q
So my dream job is to do exactly what you do but when I tell people they laugh in my face and than proceed to ask "wait are you serious"? I was just wondering if you've ever experienced this or if any of your friends or family weren't supportive of what you wanted to do with your life
Anonymous
A

Oh yes….just remember they are probably either saying that because 1) they care about you and think they’re protecting you from being disappointed if you don’t make it or 2) they are jealous that you’re pursuing a dream.  Either way, their opinions don’t affect whether or not you get the job :)  So keep moving forward!


Vancouver Aquarium is dealing with a decision that ruins the quality of life for their cetaceans….and this decision was not made by a veterinarian, a staff research or curator.  It was made by the Vancouver Park Board, and they have nothing to do with zoological operations.  Especially on tumblr, there are so many “pro” and “anti-caps” that it makes me sick.  We really love to divide ourselves into camps and get into rhetorical fights about how right our side is.  Meanwhile, the animals are still suffering.The amount of passion each “side” has is enough to make some really big changes that could positively influence the lives of wild cetaceans (and animals in general) if we could just get along for nine seconds.  These decisions and changes could also come without negatively impacting the individual animals who do call a zoo or aquarium home.Today’s Middle Flipper is about this ridiculousness, and how we can turn it around to make GOOD changes.When the Ego of Activism Trumps Animal Welfare

Vancouver Aquarium is dealing with a decision that ruins the quality of life for their cetaceans….and this decision was not made by a veterinarian, a staff research or curator.  It was made by the Vancouver Park Board, and they have nothing to do with zoological operations.  

Especially on tumblr, there are so many “pro” and “anti-caps” that it makes me sick.  We really love to divide ourselves into camps and get into rhetorical fights about how right our side is.  Meanwhile, the animals are still suffering.

The amount of passion each “side” has is enough to make some really big changes that could positively influence the lives of wild cetaceans (and animals in general) if we could just get along for nine seconds.  These decisions and changes could also come without negatively impacting the individual animals who do call a zoo or aquarium home.

Today’s Middle Flipper is about this ridiculousness, and how we can turn it around to make GOOD changes.

When the Ego of Activism Trumps Animal Welfare


Looking at these amazing faces, it’s hard to understand how anyone who works with animals could ever feel unmotivated, stuck, or like they’ve dead-ended.  

But of course, animal training/caretaking in a zoological setting is still a job (an awesome one at that, but still).  There is a lot to learn, different career levels to attain, good days and bad days.  And really, anything really truly good in life will never just be easy and great.  

So what happens if you get into a job funk as an animal trainer?  Well, you gotta re-motivate yourself; it’s what’s best for the animals, your team, and YOU!  Read today’s Middle Flipper for more!

The Middle Flipper Career Guide to Getting Re-Motivated


I’ve worked with dolphins primarily for most of my career.  But over the past year and a half I’ve had the distinct pleasure of getting to know a handful of amazing pinnipeds.  The sea lion pictured above earned her own Middle Flipper post the other day.  Find out why!The Middle Flipper is…..(Part 10)

I’ve worked with dolphins primarily for most of my career.  But over the past year and a half I’ve had the distinct pleasure of getting to know a handful of amazing pinnipeds.  
The sea lion pictured above earned her own Middle Flipper post the other day.  Find out why!

The Middle Flipper is…..(Part 10)


darshanapathak:

darshanapathak:

Where do I begin.

So I had the misfortune of finding out that a photo taken of me on vacation by my boyfriend, was stolen and used without my permission here on the lovely r/fatpeoplehate on reddit. It not only disappoints me that people think that this behavior is okay, but that this subreddit even exists and hasn’t been removed at this point. There are TONS of photos of (mostly) women posted there; selfies stolen their personal blogs/facebooks/instagrams what have you (WITHOUT THEIR PERMISSION), and posted on this horrible subreddit for people to harass them and leave hundreds of negative comments bravely behind their computer screens where no one can see them. I have always struggled with my weight and found it hard to get dressed and leave my bed some days, and have only recently started to accept the person I am after years of depression and health issues. I feel extremely violated and hurt that someone thought it was okay to take something that isn’t theirs, and use it for their own amusement and kicks.

We have since contacted reddit requesting them to remove this subreddit, but I find that doubtful considering how many removal requests they have probably received in the past for this forum, and it still remains active.

All I ask from you guys, is that you can please signal boost this post and hopefully get this horrible subreddit taken down for good for the sake of the poor unsuspecting people whose privacy has been violated and self worth diminished by these garbage people who have nothing better to do.

xoxo

Darshana

thanks for all of your support so far! keep spreading the word

if you can, please message ‘caught-u-mirin’ on reddit (the person who stole my photo and made the post above) and kindly (or not) request him/her to remove that post!

Good god….wtf is wrong with people?

(via horsechild)