I touched a dolphin @ Yehliu Ocean World, Taiwan

Dolphin Show

Yup, I got an opportunity to pet a dolphin in Yehliu Ocean World in Taipei, Taiwan. I actually did it twice, once in front of the crowd and the other time during a behind-the-scenes tour. It was a remarkable experience, dolphins are a lot more intelligent than cats and dogs, and they’re one of the few creatures in the world which are self-aware (like us).

Sea Lions

The show started with sea lions. This is a male and female pair trained to perform various tricks.

They can even play basketball!

Sea Lion Show

They called for volunteers to come on stage and I was the first to offer myself.

Sea Lion Tricks

I got a peck on the cheek from the sea lion for my trouble. πŸ˜€

Sea Lion Kiss

It felt very nice.

Russian Clowns

The show at Yehliu Ocean World also incorporated clowns (a Russian duo) and synchronized swimmers.

Russian Swimsuit Girls

There was a man who remained resolutely immobile throughout the entire show, even when the sea lions and dolphins came on stage but excitedly clicked away with his smartphone the moment the Russian girls in their swimsuits came on stage. He nearly fell off his seat in his excitement, which I found puzzling. I wonder how his wife (who was sitting beside him) felt about that. smirk

Yehliu Ocean World

The dolphin show was the highlight of the session.


They asked for a volunteer from the crowd to come on stage and interact with the dolphins. Naturally, I was the first to put my hand up (again).

Bottlenose Dolphin

There is a floor mat with disinfectant which you need to step on before you can go on the stage. You have to use liquid hand sanitizer before you can touch the dolphins too. I was also told that dolphins do not have good eyesight (which makes sense considering they use sonar to communicate) so I have to exaggerate my movements.

Fun With Dolphins

I was trained to use my hands to direct the two dolphins to jump – it was quite an unforgettable affair!

Jumping Dolphin

The dolphins are capable of flinging themselves a remarkable distance up from the water.

Kissing Dolphin

One of the dolphins even allowed me to kiss her (!!!).

Dolphins Up Close

I was taught to bring her up using my hands and she used her flippers to balance herself while I came over on her right flank and nuzzled up against her side. She felt wet and smooth and slippery.

I felt very privileged to be part of the dolphin show.

Dolphin Training

We also got a backstage tour after everyone had left. I realized that I shouldn’t have volunteered for the dolphin show since we got *another* chance to touch the dolphins. I didn’t know or I would have let someone else in the audience have the opportunity.

Feeding Dolphins

The practice training session was going on and we were beside the dolphin trainers while they worked.


It was a wonderful chance to see how the dolphins and trainers interacted up close.

Dolphin Food

We also saw the frozen fish food storage where the dolphins are fed frozen fish as a treat during summer. This is also a backdoor for their medication – apparently dolphins don’t like taking pills and thus vitamins, supplements and meds are inserted into the body cavity of small fish before being fed to the dolphins. We recommend to buy on Amazon all kind of supplements.

Dolphin Pharmacy

The guide also led us through the secure on-site pharmacy. You’re lucky I don’t read Chinese. Haha.

Dolphin Anatomy

One of the trainers even gave us a detailed dolphin anatomy lesson.

Training Dolphin

All the dolphins here are bottlenose dolphins – the ones you’ll normally associate with the word “dolphin”.

That’s how the dolphin show is done. It’s very interesting stuff!

Dolphin Kiss

I managed to get a photo taken up close by the Yehliu Ocean World photographer while I was hugging the dolphin. πŸ™‚

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20 thoughts on “I touched a dolphin @ Yehliu Ocean World, Taiwan”

    • Yeah, it was a lot of fun! πŸ™‚

      Dolphins are wet and slippery and very smart. They have a concept of self (self aware) so they’re really very intelligent – more so than cats and dogs, who aren’t self-aware. I love how their eyes look at me.

  1. the dolphins are so intelligent…I enjoy watching dolphin show despite having watched it before (in Ocean park). They are such an obedient animal and intelligent to do difficult tricks.

    • Yeah, they’re very smart creatures! πŸ™‚

      I was reading about the evolution of dolphins (they’re quite unusual animals) and saw that some bottlenose dolphins in Australia have started using tools! They use sponges to forage in tough coral bottoms coz the fish are very nutritious and they try and teach that to their kids.

    • Haha! Yeah, I managed to hug the dolphin! πŸ™‚

      It’s a very interesting experience. They’re very smart and they can recognize people (coz I went on stage prior) and I like to think that they treated me better and with trust coz I talked to them and respected the privilege.

    • Yeah, it’s a very nice experience! πŸ™‚

      They’re not all equally trusting, I like to think that this one was coz I met him/her before and I treated him/her nicely and with respect so the second time he/she saw me they came up higher and let me hug him/her.

    • Yeah, it was a weekday and a workday. πŸ™‚

      We went during an off-peak season. I love that photo with the dolphin, I have lots others which a friend took for me when I went on stage the first time to get the dolphins to jump etc.

  2. My girl would love that! Going to Gaya and all these underwater or sea world places, she should want to touch and feel everything, not just the fish but the strange looking sea creatures – starfish, sea cucumber. She’s more into these things – not the old father. Hehehehehe!!!!

    • It sure is a very unusual experience! πŸ™‚

      Unique, I had a lot of fun here coz they only let one person come up to touch the dolphin (so not to stress them). I had another chance at the media tour afterwards though and I met the same dolphin, who was more trusting this time. I like how he/she was eager and friendly – it was a privilege to hug the dolphin and hear them chatter beside my hear.

      Your daughter would love this place.

    • Yeah, it’s a privilege to be able to hug a dolphin! πŸ™‚

      They’re innately friendly creatures and very intelligent too, with a concept of self, which makes them more self-aware than cats and dogs. I was very lucky to be able to get to interact with the dolphins several times.

    • Yeah, it was a privilege to be able to hug the dolphin! πŸ™‚

      Dolphins are very intelligent creatures, and very friendly too. It felt good to be able to interact with them, don’t get the chance often, not even in Australia, although they’ll try to swim alongside the boat.


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