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)


twofacedsheep:

Leucistic Hourglass Dolphin.

Awesomesssss

(via kamairuka)


Positive reinforcement training focuses on empowering animals to make decisions, and learn because they are rewarded for doing so.  Any good training program is established with the animals in mind.  In fact, we believe so strongly in this concept that the phrases, “set animals up for success” and “always end on a positive note” are a given in any marine mammal training program.Today’s Middle Flipper takes a different angle on this topic.  I’d like to amend the “always” in the “always end on a positive” phrase to “most of the time.”  Why? Because sometimes, messing up is okay.  It’s important to learn how to make a mistake.  How do you do that with animals without them becoming frustrated?  Read on to find out more!When Failure Is An Option: Why We Have to Let Animals Mess Up Once in a While

Positive reinforcement training focuses on empowering animals to make decisions, and learn because they are rewarded for doing so.  Any good training program is established with the animals in mind.  In fact, we believe so strongly in this concept that the phrases, “set animals up for success” and “always end on a positive note” are a given in any marine mammal training program.

Today’s Middle Flipper takes a different angle on this topic.  I’d like to amend the “always” in the “always end on a positive” phrase to “most of the time.”  Why? Because sometimes, messing up is okay.  It’s important to learn how to make a mistake.  How do you do that with animals without them becoming frustrated?  

Read on to find out more!

When Failure Is An Option: Why We Have to Let Animals Mess Up Once in a While


themajesticalnarwhal:

That bear is so cute. 

Hahaha awesome

(via thehollythatwillbe)


Q
I am thinking about getting my first tattoo, on my forearm, and am working on getting into the marine mammal training field. Do you think this is a bad move? I wouldn't mind covering it at work but am worried I won't get any internships or get hired as a result! Thanks!
Anonymous
A

If you can easily cover it up, go for it. Some places don’t care about tattoos, but many do. At the early stage of the game, it’s unwise to limit which facilities you’re applying for because casting your net wide gives you a much better chance at landing a job.
I obviously love ink, and think it’s ridiculous that there are even rules in a place telling people to cover up, but they are there and we can’t change it overnight. So I’d either wait to get inked until you land a job or just make sure you can cover it up easily for an interview and also when employed.


Q
What's the deal with sick days in the marine mammal field? Say I made the poor decision of trying a Doritos locos taco before my night shift and though I am not technically sick enough to visit a doctor I feel as though I will soon be generating cool ranch flavored jet propulsion from my unfortunate bowl movements and no one can take my shift is my career basically over?
Anonymous
A

Take a sick day if you’re sick. Call your boss and tell them you what’s going on and go from there.


The Middle Flipper was created to share what it’s like to work with and care for some pretty amazing animals.  I obviously have my opinions about certain topics that I share on my blog, hoping that people can pick and choose from it what is helpful or at least give us all something to think about.  Doing a good job at your internship goes beyond trying to secure a job in the field (although that is important, I know).  Being a good intern who cares deeply for the animals typically means you become a trainer who is always striving to do better and better and better, so that you can provide better care to your animals and reach more people and make THEM care about animals, too.Here is the last installment (for now) of The Middle Flipper’s Guide to Interning.  Enjoy!The Middle Flipper’s Guide to Good Interning (Part 2)

The Middle Flipper was created to share what it’s like to work with and care for some pretty amazing animals.  I obviously have my opinions about certain topics that I share on my blog, hoping that people can pick and choose from it what is helpful or at least give us all something to think about.  
Doing a good job at your internship goes beyond trying to secure a job in the field (although that is important, I know).  Being a good intern who cares deeply for the animals typically means you become a trainer who is always striving to do better and better and better, so that you can provide better care to your animals and reach more people and make THEM care about animals, too.

Here is the last installment (for now) of The Middle Flipper’s Guide to Interning.  Enjoy!

The Middle Flipper’s Guide to Good Interning (Part 2)


Q
Assuming you've watched Blackfish, and I know not everything in the film is true. But since there's video footage, why would you say that the killer whales have attacked and killed their trainers? I'm not implying anything, just curious why you believe that they have had lashed out if they're healthy and happy creatures like most marine mammal trainers would say they are while living in their facilities? Why would an animal become so violent if it wasn't emotionally?
Anonymous
A

Why does anyone lash out?  I don’t think it’s possible for me to answer an anonymous message via tumblr to discuss all the possibilities of why an animal as an individual makes the decisions they do, much less comment on an entire species.  It’s not simple.  I also have never worked with killer whales, the specific killer whales you seemingly imply,  nor have I worked at any of those facilities or worked with any of those trainers.  So I can’t possibly comment on why those things have happened.

I haven’t personally experienced those types of situations except with one wild dolphin in a rehabilitation center.   Wild dolphins in my area (notorious for people trying to interact with them/feed them) attack swimmers every spring and summer.  Is that because they are overall unhappy?  Or that they are irritated in the moment?  Or do they get a kick out of watching the swimmers’ reactions when they get rammed in the ribs?  All three of those questions are just some likely examples of reasons why that stuff might happen with the wild bottlenose dolphins in my area.  But I could never get inside of their heads and know the real reasons why, nor would I be ignorant enough to assume that what motivates one animal to do something is the same exact thing that motivates another.


Q
how would you feed an animal that won't station?
Anonymous
A

You first have to rule out possible medical reasons why the animal isn’t interested in coming over to station.  That could mean they aren’t feeling well, or it could mean they’re in breeding mode or are pregnant.  For example, male sea lions will go up to a month in the wild without eating while they’re in rut, so in human care they’re going to experience the same thing.   Sometimes, the animal just isn’t hungry.   That can have a lot to do with weather conditions (including water and air temperature).
If there’s a dolphin who won’t station because she just gave birth and is focused on rearing her calf, we basically throw as many fish as they can eat in their direction so as to not change their swim trajectory.  Some bottlenose dolphins will eat up to 50 pounds of fish a day in this manner.

And I guess that’s the most extreme thing we’d do in a situation where an animal is so over us that they won’t come over to station and it has nothing to do with biological/medical reasons.  We’d just toss fish to them to see if they’ll eat.  I’ve personally never seen that with any animals other than ones in rehab.  Usually the animals will come over to us for a session, but if they don’t want to eat they’ll just refuse the food or they’ll swim away the moment we try to feed them, and then they’ll come back a few seconds later.