Tuesday, April 2, 2013

The Old Switcheroo

Can you tell which dolphin is which?
Talon and Pax are half brothers and to an untrained eye, look almost identical. They’re both large, extremely athletic, and take after their mother, Tursi, in their physical characteristics. Besides their looks, these two have very similar dolphinalities as well. Both try to get their trainers soaked on sessions, are lovably loud, and have impressive aerial behaviors. Sometimes you can’t help but mix up these two boys.

Recently, they had a fun time causing a little mischief with their trainers. Pax constantly took Talon’s place while Talon pretended he didn’t notice. Due to how excited the trainers, crowd, and dolphins were, there were a few times that nobody noticed they had switched places. It was comedic gold.
At the end of the session, it was time for Talon to get his water, a medical behavior we train all of the dolphins which allows us to give them extra hydration. His trainer, who was having a blast answering questions from the audience, wasn’t paying full attention and didn’t realize at first that Pax had taken Talon’s place. She went along the usual routine; let Pax sit on her feet and sprayed his mouth with teeth cleaner as she chatted on about dolphins. It wasn’t until she looked down again to show him the tube that she realized she didn’t have Talon. She had Pax!

Pax must have thought the switch was hilarious because he couldn’t help but blow a raspberry at her once she figured it out. Talon acted as if he had no idea what was going on, but we all knew he was in on the joke too! As his trainer got ready to water the correct dolphin, she gave Pax a smooch to show there were no hard feelings.

We love that the dolphins have their own unique dolphinalities and enjoy play time with their human friends. Talon and Pax are two guys you have to make sure you keep your eyes on. They love to mess around with us and keep us on our toes.