Electric Monk

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The Mirage - Dolphins And Tigers And Slot Machines, Oh My!

The destination for our final forray was The Mirage. We wanted to see the tigers and the dolphins.

My Pool, My Rules

We arrived at about 4pm, a half hour too late to see the "Secret Gardens" where most of the tigers were kept, but we were able to see the dolphins close up from both above and below the water.

Dolphin On Cruise

The largest pool was filled with coral reefs and attempted to create a more "natural habitat". The other two pools were empty. When asked, one caretaker said that the dolphins preferred the empty pools, and that the reefs were more for the enjoyment of the humans.

Looking Out
How Much Is That Dolphin In The Window?

We were also too late for the scheduled tours, but one of the staff offered to walk us through the exhibit, and answer questions about the dolphins. Among the interesting facts were that instead of sleeping for an extended period, dolphins rest half of their brains for a few minutes at a time, swimming with one eye shut. He also pointed out the ways in which the handlers could recognize individual dolphins. In one case this was by a noticeable underbite.

Cat Nap

After leaving the dolphins, we headed for the White Tiger Habitat, where usually one or two tigers are on display. When we arrived, though, the habitat was empty. As we were ready to go, we decided to take one last look, and it was then that a tiger entered the exhibit.

Tiger Poop
No Comment

... and promptly did his business. I added the above photo to the JREF Humor Forum's "Caption Contest" thread with the following warning:

NOTE: Any mention, in the submitted captions, of Roy returning to the Mirage floor will be considered in to be in the poorest of taste, and is grounds for an immediate scorning.

In response I received these submissions:

Tiger Dip
In The Lap Of Luxury

The tiger is certainly a beautiful animal, and they and the other animals at the Mirage look to be well cared for by kind and knowledgable people. Still, I think that I'd rather be the one on this side of the plexiglass.

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