Monkey Mia is well known for their wild dolphins. However, up until 1990, Monkey Mia’s dolphins were on the decline mostly because dolphins became focused on receiving food rather than looking after their young. Some dolphins would stay in the shallow end for most of the day while their babies went without food. Interesting enough a young dolphin needs to feed every 15 minutes. With the inability to do so resulted in death through starvation.
After realizing how man interfered with the natural food chain, Monkey Mia introduce a new feeding system which focused on feeding the dolphins only a small portion of fish thus forcing them to forage for the rest naturally. As a result, new born dolphins had a better chance of survival without facing starvation.
There are currently about 15 female dolphins that visit Monkey Mia, with the latest addition born about a month ago.
On the day we visited, there were two families of dolphins that entertained the crowd. Some guests were invited to feed the dolphin which is an amazing experience. Not everyone has this opportunity.
There is an area which is marked with yellow buoys which is a ‘no go’ zone for people and boats. This area is the dolphin feeding area. However, outside of this, people may swim.
Dolphins are fed a maximum of 3 times a day, and after the last feeding session, we decided to head down the beach for a swim/kayak. While we were not chosen to feed the dolphins, we were visited by them while playing the water. We assumed they were curious to see what all the splashing was about. For a brief moment, all activities were halted as they swam slowly in between us. Thanks to a friend of mine, we were able to capture one shot as the passed through.
It is truly a special experience to see dolphins so close. The experience will cost the travel to Monkey Mia and the day/holiday park entrance fee. Most of the money collected is used to maintain the park and to continue to research and monitor dolphins in this area.
8 Tips with Seeing the Dolphins:
- Not everyone is called to feed the dolphins. So don’t expect to be called.
- Enjoy the moment. Even though you may have been there every morning of the week without you or your kids being called to feed the dolphins, seeing the dolphins so close is a really special moment. Enjoy it!
- Camera. Don’t forget the camera. And taking a lot of photos is not a bad thing. You just have more to choose from.
- Don’t be upset with the crew for not choosing you. They generally have one fish per feeding session. These people volunteer their time so that you can witness something like this.
- Keep out of the feeding zone. This area is marked by yellow buoys. No one is allowed in this area and ANY time.
- Stand still. If a dolphin does come up to see what is going on, don’t rush up to it. Stand still and let it pass. It is against the law for people to advance towards them, however if they come to you, it is required you remain still as they swim pass.
- Do not have kids chase or throw stones at the dolphins. You will be surprised how many parents allow this to happen. Not only are you allowing your kids to inflict pain onto the dolphins, but you are ruining the experience for everyone. Take your kids aside and explain the experience they are having and why it is so special.
- Do not feed the dolphins. Dolphin are opportunists, and if you caught a whole heap of fish, you may feel it is a good thing to give them some fish. However, it has taken Monkey Mia decades to train this dolphins to forage for their own food in order to increase the chance of their young to live. Feeding the dolphins will reverse years of hard work.
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