This 4-week commitment will be the longest volunteer opportunity on this trip so far. During the mid 1960’s, Mrs Evelyn Smith, a local resident in Bunbury, Australia, began feeding the dolphins from a small jetty near her home on the Leschenault Inlet (directly south of the Discovery Centre). Unfortunately, she passed away in the early 70′s ceasing any regular feeding of the dolphins she befriended. Some dolphins continued to be fed by the public from areas nearby. However it wasn’t until 1989 that a dolphin specialist was hired by the newly established Bunbury Dolphin Trust to continue this tradition and begin feeding and studying the local dolphins of Koombana Bay. From this work came the establishment of the Interaction Zone in 1990 and the Dolphin Discovery Centre in 1994 to allow tourists and members of the community to interact, understand and enjoy the group of five to six dolphins that regularly visit this Zone.
Dolphin Discovery Center Support
Volunteer duties at the Dolphin Discovery Center include some of the following:
- Assisting with the care and maintenance of the aquariums
- Inputting the research data into databases for analysis
- General maintenance and cleaning
- Assisting with the research program/recording observations
- Managing visitors and interaction zone
Why I Chose This Opportunity
My Special Connection With Dolphins
I cannot tell you how many years I’ve wanted to volunteer in a dolphin setting. I’ve always been intrigued by the beautiful personalities of dolphins and I’m convinced I used to be one (maybe in another life…lol). So when this opportunity arose, I knew it was just for me! This is great because its at a center where the dolphins naturally come in from their habitats for interactions. I always had a sick feeling in my stomach from the Sea World’s that entrap animals and keep them confined. I’m excited to learn about the center and have as much interaction with my sea buddies as possible! Plus its in Australia!