Saturday, May 12, 2007

Dolphin training program will soon be available at TSA

Anyone who has ever dreamt of becoming a dolphin trainer will soon get a chance to fulfill that dream. The Texas State Aquarium has a new educational program that allows the public get up close and personal with dolphins.

The deck side dolphin encounter allows you to feed, play with and touch the dolphins. It's billed by the Aquarium as a great family experience but it also has educational value.

"Basically you learn a little bit about dolphin anatomy, how we train, why we train and we also have a conservation message," Martha Hill of TSA said.

That message is "Enjoy the dolphins, but remember they are wild animals."

"If you go out and interact with wild dolphins, it can disrupt their social order, and it can be detrimental to their health basically," Hill said.

But interacting with the dolphins at the Aquarium is okay. In fact, dolphin encounters encourages it. Aquarium officials said the best way for the public to learn about dolphins is to interact with them.
"A lot of people really have enjoyed it," Hill said. "We had some people that were a little skeptical at first. They thought, 'Well I don't know if this is really something that I want to do,' and they totally changed their mind by the end of the program."

The program costs $75 per person for a one-day session. Participants must be at least 8 years old to participate. For more information about the Aquarium's "Deck-side Dolphin Encounter," call 881-1307.

Quick "Facts about Dolphins"