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Tuesday September 17, 2013 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Tuesday September 17, 2013 MYT 3:00:12 PM
Wonder of the sea: Lopez examining a Dolphin with a trainers help.
RESORTS World Sentosa’s Marine Life Park has employed 36 trainers for its 24 Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins ahead of the imminent opening of its Dolphin Island attraction.
This level of animal care appears to exceed that at several other dolphin attractions around the world.
Hong Kong’s Ocean Park at one point had 40 trainers caring for 40 marine mammals, including 18 dolphins. In 2009, the Dubai Dolphinarium had two trainers for its four dolphins.
Currently, each of the dolphins in Resorts World Sentosa has a primary trainer of its own, with the others assist.
Speaking to reporters last Friday, the park’s chief veterinarian Alfonso Lopez said that trainers, with their intimate knowledge of the dolphins, provide a crucial “first line of defence” in detecting anything amiss in their moods or health.
“The bond between dolphins and trainers is very important.
It is the key to preventing and managing problems.”
Each morning, the dolphins are given full-body visual checks by the trainers, who are taught to look out for signs of problems in their behaviour or body language.
For instance, a dolphin with gastric flu might curl its pectoral fins closer to its body.
Trainers who sense that something is wrong will inform the park’s four full-time vets.
Experts say that the stress while in captivity can make dolphins more susceptible to disease.
Some of these diseases, such as bacterial infections, cannot be detected with the naked eye. — The Straits Times / Asia News Network
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RWS hires 36 trainers to give dolphins full attention
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