Jumping dolphins at sunset

Image: Zest-pk

Yeah, they’re cute as hell and smart as a whip. Just don’t feed them.

At the end of our 5-week cycling trip in Cuba, we stayed in Varadero for a few nights for some much needed beach downtime. The weather didn’t co-operate which shot our plans down, but that’s neither here nor there.

While cycling along the peninsula we passed near the “sea-quarium”, where many tourists go and swim with dolphins. We noticed a group of people leaning over a bridge railing looking downwards. Curious, we stopped too. The dolphins’ swimming territory stretches all the way over to the bridge, so everyone was there watching a few play in the waters right below. I’ve never seen dolphins that close before and they blew my mind. They weren’t even doing anything, really. But their infamous intelligence was apparent.

A couple of young women were tossing chunks of bread to them. No one was saying anything. Then Yvonne went up to them. “You know dolphins can get sick and die from that?” Hell, I didn’t even know that, but come to think of it, yeah. I mean, when’s the last time you’ve seen a dolphin chowing down on some pumpernickel rye?

One of them said, “Really?” to Yvonne. Yeah, really. They stopped.

According to this msnbc.com video, feeding wild dolphins can net you a $12,000 fine.

To learn more, visit dontfeedwilddolphins.org.


Love animals? Of course you do. Check these articles out across the Matador network:

12 Steps to Healing Our Relationship With Wild Animals

Volunteering for Animal Rights in Greece

Photo Essay: The Matador Photographers’ Animal Kingdom