Betty, Robin and Mia: the three most famous dolphins of the moment. Perhaps because they have been long awaited, like stars. This is because, before going on display and transferring to their new tank in the Acquario in Genoa, they took days. Shy? Overwhelmed? I don’t know. But what I do know is I had a classic stroke of luck. I arrived at the right moment: when they were brave, took up their fins and suitcases and moved house… I mean, tank.
Our philosophy is that they do what they want
I arrived in the Porto Antico area in Genoa just in time. It all happened in a minute, far away from the video cameras (those arrived afterwards) and under the maternal eyes of Claudia Gili, scientific director of the veterinary department, who told sceptics- concerning the trio’s behaviour- that “Our philosophy is that they do what they want”,
And that’s how it was. The encouragement of workers, who almost always fed them in the big tank, definitely had an effect, but there’s no doubt that the definitive decision was made by the splendid dolphins. Certainly, after this waiting period, the Cetacean pavilion, the wonderful new element which the Acquario di Genova was missing, has now arrived, and everyone likes it. I did the kids test (I have three): I took them to take a look and asked for their opinion: “The Acquario? It’s fantastic” said the chorus. Obviously the highlight of the trip was meeting the three ‘lazy’ dolphins; Betty, Robin and Mia, who are respectively mother, father and daughter, the heroes of the moment, and I think they will be for some time judging by the number of people who want to see them in action.
With the ‘Acquario’s Encore’, as the new tank has been re-baptised, which can be found between the main body of the Acquario and the Grande Nave Blu, there are now four more tanks, all of them out in the open- the main display tank, the nursery, the medical tank and the recovery tank. The visit is structured over two levels to allow the public to admire the animals both from above and from an underwater perspective.
Visitors coming from the Acquario enter the new display area and at first see the Main Pool from above. Here, thanks to a 30-metre long glass wall which can be opened, they can listen live to the vast repertoire which these animals use to communicate, therefore establishing closer contact with these sea mammals. Thanks to the position of the trainer’s platform, directly opposite the opening glass wall, the public’s attention is focused on the dolphins even during training: the animals can, in fact, be observed from the front, making them the centre of attention.