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January 27, 2006

Dolphin Training at The Mirage

Posted by Hunter

I got an interesting press release from The Mirage recently about a new program they are offering at their dolphin habitat.

For $500 you can spend the entire day with the dolphins and their training crew, learning about how these magnificent animals are cared for. The day includes a photo and a lunch.

Anyway, I'm sure there are some folks out there who are interested in looking into something like this so for them, I've attached the press after the jump. Enjoy!

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LAS VEGAS – The Mirage now is offering the experience of a lifetime to those who love dolphins. The new Trainer for a Day program provides guests with unforgettable memories of working side by side with animal experts and a family of Atlantic bottlenose dolphins at The Mirage’s Siegfried & Roy’s Secret Garden and Dolphin Habitat.

Participants learn about dolphin health and behavior, as well as the Dolphin Habitat’s research projects that aid in the survival of the Atlantic bottlenose dolphin in the wild. Trainer for a Day provides a chance to connect with these magnificent creatures and experience a hands-on, educational program for those who want to deepen their understanding of these marine mammals. Every person’s experience is different because the dolphins’ needs vary daily.

“The Trainer for a Day experience is an enjoyable memory that will last forever,” said Charles Kotulski, a Trainer for a Day participant and professor at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. “The strength of the program is the fact that I was actively involved in the program and not just a spectator.
This adventure will appeal to anyone who loves animals and wants to learn more about dolphins.”

The adventure begins at 9:45 a.m. when the program’s facilitator greets participants. While guests enjoy a light continental breakfast, the facilitator teaches them dolphin terms used by the trainers and reviews hand signals used to train the dolphins. After a behind-the-scenes tour of the Dolphin Habitat, participants change into wetsuits before being introduced to the dolphin trainers for hands-on instruction.

Mike Muraco, director of Animal Care at The Mirage, said, “These training sessions are very important for the dolphins’ well-being. The mammals learn to participate in their own health care by cooperating with trainers, who do daily health checks of each animal. Participants also have the opportunity to observe many aspects of dolphin care, including veterinary care procedures such as ultrasounds and recording the animals’ heart rates and temperatures, which the public rarely sees.”

When The Mirage began considering this program, the most important consideration was the safety and health of the dolphins. The various people the dolphins are exposed to through Trainer for a Day stimulate their brains and give them variation in their environment. The dolphins become accustomed to seeing different people which is helpful when medical specialists come in to care for them.

In the middle of the day, participants break to enjoy an exceptional private lunch served at a secluded poolside table overlooking the Dolphin Habitat and surrounded by palm trees.

Richard Kiewice, a Trainer for a Day participant from Bedford, Texas, said, “The lunch was just as much of a highlight as working with the dolphins. The extensive menu and private setting felt luxurious and definitely added to the exclusive nature of the experience.”

Activities in the afternoon session may include additional dolphin training sessions or learning more about dolphin behavior, including their underwater sonar capabilities. The day ends with an opportunity to pose for photos with the dolphins, creating wonderful photographic memories.

The $500 all-day program includes a private lunch; 8x10 photo; Trainer for a Day certificate; admission to Siegfried & Roy’s Secret Garden and Dolphin Habitat; and the choice of a Trainer for a Day T-shirt, beach towel, hat or bag. Photos taken throughout the day are available on photo CD for an extra $75. Each participant also may bring along an observer for an additional fee of $150. Observers are welcome to join the morning orientation, the private lunch and shadow the participant all day from just a few feet away taking their own personal photos.

The program is open to everyone 13 years of age or older. To make the experience more intimate, the program is limited to four participants per day. Through February 28, Trainer for a Day is offered five days a week, except Tuesday and Thursday. As of March 1, the program will be available six days a week, dark on Thursday. People who want to participate in Trainer for a Day at The Mirage may call (702) 792-7889. Reservations may be made up to 11 months in advance.


Read archived comments (3 so far)
January 28, 2006 4:41 AM Posted by mike_ch

What you get for the money is nice, I guess, but I'm not sure how many Las Vegas visitors would really want all that, anyway.

Disney World has been doing something similar for a long time. You don't get the whole day with the animals of course, but it's only $150. Considering the agenda of the typical LV visitor, I'm not sure a whole-day program like this will really get much business.

January 28, 2006 7:41 AM Posted by Hunter

I agree that this will be a very low volume affair.

Personally, not something I would ever do but my wife my be interested in something like this for instance.

February 16, 2006 1:30 PM Posted by Danny

Maybe a funny experience for some people.
But the wrong way, if you are a real dolphin lover. We all shoud not support this kind of attractions.