In which I am offended on behalf of a dolphin.

Controversy Feminism Human nature

Beautiful Monkey Mia.

So, it turns out that my capacity to take offence on behalf of females literally transcends species. A couple of weeks ago, I and my family were in Monkey Mia. For those of you who don’t know, Monkey Mia is a beautiful little resort town on the coast of Western Australia. It is chiefly famous for a few dolphin families who’ve learnt to come to the beach to be fed two or three times a day. The dolphins have been swimming right up to shore since the 1960’s. It’s somewhere I’ve always wanted to visit, the experience is magical.

They come this close.

Still wild animals.

Now obviously all manner of marine biologists and dolphin experts from the Department of Parks and Wildlife in WA manage this interaction. They are very careful to minimise any risks to the dolphins. From the talk we were given while waiting for the dolphins to show up, these are still wild animals. They need to eat kilos of fish every day to survive. The interaction with them at the beach is referred to as “the experience”. It actually gives the dolphins very little food. So they’re still doing what normal dolphins do and hunting in the wild most of the time. Most importantly, the dolphins are still teaching their offspring to hunt and feed.

Basically, dolphins are very intelligent, they’ve learnt to swim in to this shore every day, have a few fish, and swim out again. The tour guides don’t know if they’re coming or not. As it happens, the dolphins turn up roughly 360 out of 365 days a year. They come at pretty much the same times every day, always throughout the morning.

They can recognise themselves in a mirror. This is evidence of intellect.

They can recognise themselves in a mirror. This is evidence of intellect. Also: CUTE.

Poor, dead, Nicky the dolphin.

You’re not allowed to touch them, or feed them anything other than fish. Only those chosen by the tour guides are allowed to feed them said fish. They really are very careful not to corrupt the normal dolphin fishing behaviour. This has been going on for almost 40 years; these experts have had many years to study this phenomenon and the specific dolphins involved.

They know each dolphin by their dorsal fin, which function like fingerprints in that each one is unique. The tour guides know these dolphins’ sex, their behaviours and their family relationships. They know which is mother, calf, father etc and they’ve named them all.  Some of these dolphins are in their late 30’s and have been coming into the beach their entire lives. Now, a dolphin’s life-span is generally only about that long. Recently, Monkey Mia lost one of the dolphins who’d been coming into the beach for her whole life.

Which brings me to poor, dead, Nicky.

Poor, dead, Nicky Kardashian the dolphin.

Allow me to de-tour. After the brilliant experience of seeing wild dolphins literally swim past our feet, my tribe decided we’d go out on a charter boat to the ocean. We paid the (not inconsiderable) ticket price for the four of us and boarded the boat. This was the view.

Not a bad day for it.

The idea is that you go out to the ocean and you get to see some of the spectacular wildlife therein. So far, so amazing. Imagine my surprise when the girl who was telling all of us what to look out for started going into her spiel about Nicky, the poor dead dolphin Kardashian of the WA coast.

Nicky Kardashian

Nicky Kardashian, RIP.

She was a baaaad mother. Literally.

According to this deck-hand, Nicky was, and I quote “…a bad mother.” My ears pricked up. What could poor dead Nicky the dolphin possibly have done for this deck-hand to brand her so? She went on. “Nicky was a bad mother. She lost seven of her nine calves because she was too concerned with swimming up to shore and having selfies. She loved that attention! So her babies died.”.

At this point, my eyes narrowed and I looked at my husband. He shook his head slowly and emphatically mouthed the word “No.”

He did not want me to cause a scene.

He did not want me to cause a scene.

So out of respect for him, I stayed silent. Until now.

What the fuck?????

What the fuck did she just say?????

Ahhhhh, that’s better.

Nicky Kardashian, RIP.

Let’s unpack this. Nicky Kardashian was a wild animal! If she lost seven of her nine calves after becoming dependent on fish fed to her by us humans that’s kind of…our fault? She wasn’t teaching her calves to feed because she didn’t need to! You know, because of us and our role in corrupting the behaviour of wild animals! Things may have changed now, but that’s mainly because of her and her loss. And lets not forget, you, deck-hand, are out here making big $$ because of Nicky K!!!! How about a little respect goddamnit?!

Also, what’s so bad about wanting to take a selfie? We can’t all be self-righteous deck-hands on amazing boats in paradise! Wanting interaction with people and enjoying attention of some kind doesn’t make you a bad mother. I don’t judge the Kardashians…they seem to love each other and they’re clearly good business women.

And again, we’re talking about a wild animal!!!

So back off deck hand!! Leave Nicky K alone!!! Stop shaming her!! Let her poor attention-seeking dolphin soul RIP. The End.

 

 

 

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