Here is my dolphin complex. Tierra del Fuego and Patagonian dolphin centre (PDC) Tierra del Fuego is a bunch of islands in Patagonia of the coast of Chilie and Argentina. The region is rich with aquatic wildlife with dolphins and whales being very prevalent in the region. This exhibit is based on that region. The PDC is a research facility that is made to understand reproductive behaviors of dolphins native to the Patagonian region (Bottlenose and Commerson’s). This facility is connected to the public exhibit but is kept off show. Dolphins can move between the public exhibit and the PDC with ease. I’ll explain the actual exhibit now. The first thing you see from this exhibit after leaving the mythical Asian grasslands is an arch with symbols of fire and dolphins. It says Tierra del Fuego, the Land of fire. The path under you has silky sand and smooth pebbles and leads to a large building with the same name. You enter to find yourself in awe. Skeletons of large, humpback whales and skulls of blue whales gives you a view into the archipelago without showing you living animals. A wall with model dolphins and whales compare the sizes of these massive animals and makes you feel small. It’s not long until you see your first live animal, the bottlenose dolphins. The sleek, intelligent, creatures have a tank of 1 million gallons total but the public area is half of that, giving the animals enough space for the public eye and the other half in the private viewing from the scientist that work with these animals. The dolphins are in a pod of 7 with the youngest being 1.5 years old. They are very charismatic as they chase kids and adults alike around as they watch the dolphins play. There is an underwater viewing and an above ground viewing, both give great views of the dolphins. Enrichment wise, they have sandy substrate, sponges, balls, fake seaweed, and sometimes live fish in ice. The room they have to swim puts Seaworld’s orca aquarium to shame. You also notice that there is no show for these animals. They still have check ups and feeding everyday and people can come see that instead of a show. Impressed with the quality of life you see with the bottlenoses, you continue past a giant, wall painting with penguins, dolphins, whales, sea lions, and other Patagonian wildlife. You see the other exhibit for the much less known, Commerson’s dolphins. The smaller dolphins have a similar exhibit to the bottlenose dolphins but they do not have an above view of their exhibit. The underwater view is much larger though with the pod of 10 swimming happily with each other without a care in the world. The tank is a bit longer to prevent crashing. The pod actually just had a baby so many people are flocking to see the “panda dolphin”. You read the signs near the exhibit which talks about the dangers of fishing nets and the work the zoo is doing in the region to help this mysterious species. You see the door and leave the magical land of fire, only to realize that it was much less fire, and much more water. I’ll take number 5 next.