Thursday, August 14, 2008

Once in a lifetime opportunity

Today I met up my friend Kim and her kids at Sea World. I really wanted to spend time with her, but with an upcoming trip I was kind of stressed out about taking a "day off" for play. Well, I am so glad I did take a day off!!!! Kim's neice's brother-in-law Keith (have I lost you yet?) is a trainer at Sea World. He offered to take us behind the scenes and let us do things that are not open to just anyone. When I say "behind the scenes" I mean there were no safety fences- the animals are right there with you! We were able to hand feed the Manatees carrots, apples and biscuits. The manatees swam right up to us and we had to put the food into their mouths! The manatees are very gentle and just kept their head out of the water so we could pet them. They feel like a rough sand paper and their whiskers are prickly! Trevor says the manatees are his favorite now! I can understand why after being able to spend some "personal" time with them.

After we spent time with the Manatees Keith took us to another area of the park where they hold different mammals for training, because they are sick, or because they have been recently rescued. We saw a sea lion who is going to have surgery tomorrow because he has a spinal injury, we were entertained by a two month old sea lion who was full of energy and we got to see him be bottle fed, we got upclose to three adult dolphins and one four week old dolphin, and we got to see the lab where they test the mammals blood, urine, infections, etc.

Keith really educated us on the mammals! He is also one of the guys who gets in the water and gets thrown in the air by Shamu. He said it kills his ears because the whale swims so fast his ears do not have time to equalize, but he says the pain is all worth it!

Thanks Kim and Keith for letting me and three of my kids be part of this once in a lifetime opportunity! I say three because Mackenzie went to Wild Rivers with a friend today- while she had a good time she is sad to have missed out on this opportunity! I do not have any pictures because he asked that they all be kept for personal use since this was an "employees only" zone. Which I guess is good because I forgot my camera!

2 comments:

tiffany said...

Oh my gosh!! What a dream. I have always wanted to swim with the manatee and can't wait until I can. Rich always tells me to go do it when we are in Orlando but I don't. I'm so excited for you being so close to them. That is my dream!
Glad you had fun.

Tiffany

ashcraft8 said...

What an awesome experience! Totally worth taking the off.