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Dolphin trained to crawl on his belly

Report by Sarah Johnston, Video by Sarah Johnston

A dolphin trainer, who works in Sebastopol, Ukraine, has trained a 15-year-old dolphin, Gosha, to jump out of the water and to crawl about 10 metres alongside the swimming pool.

Bogdan Dolgy said the Black Sea bottlenose dolphin, weighing 200 kilogram, made the first attempt to jump out of the water and to crawl on his own in the summer and seemed to enjoy it. It just needs a flat and smooth ground to crawl to make sure it does not injure itself.

Dolgy decided to train the dolphin and turn the skill into a stunt.

"I noticed once that a dolphin crawls out of the water to the swimming pool edge when some person is walking alongside the pool," Dolgy said.

"The dolphin follows the human trying to imitate his or her movements, by simply crawling. However it's not just rolling on the ground but really crawling.

"After I noticed that I fixed it in his mind, gave him some fish and he liked it, and now it happens all the time, after every stunt he is swimming and splashing his tail on the surface of the water."

Dolgy added that the animal likes the process and demonstrates it eagerly but at the same time the stunt can tire out the dolphin which needs a rest after a couple of attempts.

"If compared to a human it's perhaps like making a human climb a tree like a monkey or swim like a fish," he said.

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