At last, what everyone goes to Sea World for – the animal shows! We watched four shows in one afternoon. Two were dolphin & beluga whale shows and the other two were killer whale shows.
The dolphins below weren’t the bottlenose dolphins we’re used to seeing; they’re Pacific white-sided dolphins.
I didn’t know this until later, but the first animal shows of the day were educational. I really enjoyed learning and hearing about the way Sea World trained their animals. The trainers started to work with the babies right after they were born to build up enough trust until the animal initiated play/contact.
Did you know that beluga whales communicate by making different sounds through their blowhole (!)? We heard three different sounds…and the last one sounded like a fart. 😛
If you tap the surface of the water with a target pole after the dolphins jump once, they’ll do it again. Didn’t work the first time, so the dolphins were not rewarded as quickly nor with as much food. But the second time around was a success! The dolphins were awarded with either fish or a toy ball when they got tricks right.
Below are pictures from the second dolphin & beluga whale show. It was Christmas-themed with additional divers and acrobats diving/performing in the water. I actually preferred the first show because it was more interesting to learn new facts about the animals. The humans deterred from the animals’ performance, so I only took pics when the animals were out.
As for the killer whale (Shamu) shows, I highly enjoyed the educational show. They went into great detail about the animals’ care. Man, they get the best healthcare around – a personal vet, regular check-ups, and teeth cleaning. The whales also eat up to 100-200 lbs of fresh fish a day!
Why the black and white markings? They’re thought to act as camoflage in the ocean, making the whales look smaller to their prey than they really are. But in the photo above was their largest killer whale, a (male) bull weighing 9000 pounds. O__O
I felt similarly about the killer whale Christmas show where a group sang in addition to the whales performing. Stop detracting from the animals! But I liked it a little more than the dolphin Christmas show because of the cool lighting and seeing the whales perform a trick I’d never seen.
This was the trick that I mentioned. The whale leapt high out of the water and touched the ball with the tip of its mouth! I didn’t anticipate it to jump that high, so that’s why the framing looks so bad. But I assure you, it looked so cool in the slow-mo replay…
The first dolphin & beluga whale show almost brought me to tears (no joke). Seeing the gentle way they interacted with humans was just astonishing. It only made me wish for man and animal to coexist more harmoniously.
Have you ever seen a dolphin or whale show?
Thanks for reading!
P.S. Read part 1: Sea World Animal Encounters