Job Swap: Flipping Around At Sea Life Park

C.C. Willoughby
C.C. Willoughby


(KHNL)- At Sea Life Park, it looks like all play, but there is work for C.C. Willoughby. She's a full-time dolphin trainer and makes sure the dolphins are doing all the right moves.

"It is very glorious to be a dolphin trainer but there's lots of guts in that glory," says Willoughby who has been teaching dolphins tricks for two and half years.

With C.C.'s help, I am excited to find out just how much work goes on behind the scenes at the park.

I put on a wetsuit and get ready to jump into the water.

But before I can meet the friendly dolphins, C.C. hands me an empty pouch and points to a bucket of frozen fish.

"Go ahead grab a big handful of fish!" says Willoughby.

We fill two pouches with the frozen fish and head to the water where Kekaimalu, the half-dolphin and half-false killer whale eagerly greets us.

Kekaimalu swims up to C.C. as she blows a whistle and waves her hands in the air.

He quickly swims off and jumps out of the water, creating a big splash.

I quickly learn teaching the dolphin tricks is not an easy job.

Aside from interacting with the dolphins, the dolphin trainer also has the additional duties of feeding the sea lions and even cleaning and scrubbing the dolphin food pouches.

"Seeing the look on the guests' faces after they've had an interaction with the dolphin and knowing they have more appreciation for that animal and more respect when they leave, is the best part of this job," says Willoughby.