“Do dolphins close their eyes to sleep? Do they float while they are sleeping? How many hours does a dolphin sleep?” These are just some of the questions, which the 10 boys and girls asked on 15th August, when they were allowed to spend a magical night, together with Mundomar’s dolphins. The kids spent the whole night at the wildlife park, pioneers in the “Sleeping with Dolphins” activity, organised by the Aqualandia/Mundomar Foundation, with the aim of using educational activities and games to learn about the nocturnal activities of these wonderful marine mammals.
The group arrived at the Park at 7.30pm, equipped with sleeping bags, back-packs and full of excitement at the thought of what they would learn, whilst having such a good time. The children played educational games which taught them about the Park itself and in particular, the dolphins and how they sleep: “Dolphins don’t sleep the way that people do, since one part of their brains is always active because for them, breathing is a voluntary activity and they need to come up to the surface to breathe” explained one of the educators at the Mundomar wildlife complex. “Each dolphin has its own personality, just like people and so every one sleeps in a different way. Some prefer resting while they gently swim and come up to the surface for air once in a while. Others prefer to close their eyes and enjoy sleeping near the surface”, she added.
This treat was enjoyed by the young guests, who shared their dreams at the cave in Mundomar’s dolphin enclosure, through the underwater viewing platform. These large windows gave the youngsters the chance to see all the dolphins’ movements and behaviour in perfect detail. “It’s a very important activity so that children can learn to respect the environment and in this case, the dolphins and learn from them too. The activity was organised by the Aqualandia/Mundomar Foundation, which is also responsible for ongoing environmental and marine life studies”, said the educator.
The Sleeping with Dolphins project provided the kids with many surprises, which continued the following day: close up sessions with the dolphins, beavers and feeding animals, like the penguins. The next Sleeping with Dolphins session will take place on Friday 22nd August.