Yesterday, together with the Olson family, we visited Yerevan's new Dolphinarium 'Nemo' in Komitas Park. Nathan and Ari loved the tricks and playful antics of Vachik, Masha, Hrachik, and Dasha, but it's a good thing the show was less than an hour long because they were both getting pretty fidgety by the end.
Since Jarred and I have seen marine mammal performances at Sea World and other world-class venues in the past, we found the Dolphinarium relatively small and less professional in appearance. For example, the animals share only a single circular pool, which serves as both a living and performance space, meaning there is no "backstage" area where the dolphins can escape the crowd or even relax and wait during the sea lions' opening act. I don't want to use this blog as a soapbox, so I won't say any more on the subject of showbiz and animal rights...not here, anyway.
Considering the price of entry -- 3500 dram (approximately US $9.72) per person, free for kids 5 and younger -- this was definitely a worthwhile way to spend a Saturday afternoon, and a great opportunity for landlocked Armenians to witness firsthand the grace, beauty, and intelligence of dolphins!