Monkey Mia is about 900 km north of Perth. The area is a Marine Park and World Heritage listed.
I love dolphins. What’s not to love about them! I experience joy every time I see them out in the wild in Jurien Bay or in Esperance. Seeing them without warning is always exciting so I had mixed feelings about going to Monkey Mia to see them as a tourist attraction.
The bottlenose dolphins of Monkey Mia are an attraction for tourists and researchers. The wild dolphins come to shore to feed and have been doing this for decades after the practice was accidentally developed when local fishermen, in this tiny township, threw fish scraps over their boats. Now, the feeding and interaction is monitored carefully by marine scientists employed by a government agency. I arrived in Monkey Mia with a travelling companion on a perfect, picture postcard day.I noticed the speaker kept one hand in pocket and the other held a tiny microphone as she explained the history, ending with a firm warning, no touching the dolphins. As she started her spiel, the dolphins raced in from the open sea.They lined up for feeding! Yes, queued up!What do they make of us! Look at the ‘knowingness’ in that eye!The feeding is strictly minimal, more like a small snack.And, when excited hands miss their mark, the dolphin scans the sandy floor, with one eye wide open, the other shut.I watched one get away and slip under the jetty. It swam out to the space between the crowds and a small pier. Then I saw a little girl break away too from her family to watch the lone dolphin. The dolphin swam back and forth in the small space, while the audience of one watched on bemused.
The area around the Marine Park is now being developed in all kinds of ways to draw people in. The cynic in me could not resist a smirk. But this moment, between girl and dolphin, certainly made me smile.
A precious moment of innocence away from the crowds. I needed to see this too.
Until next time
a dawn bird