The Invisible Dolphins

19 February , International Student Trip , Port Adelaide .
Goal : see the Bottlenose dolphins , the most “urbanized” dolphins in the world .             Against their natural maritime calling they swim in the near-town , murky , fresh waters of Port River . Their new adopted home .

The movie playing in my mind on my way to Port Adelaide ?                                                     Hundreds of dolphins jumping and swimming in the white wake of a cruise ship .        Joyous and playful . The actual shot ? Four dolphins . And just the back of them .

However , the disappointment for the collapse of my mind-production-national-geographic-sponsored movie was quickly washed away when the captain of the “Dolphin Explorer” (our cruise ship) described the dire conditions in which these exuberant sea mammals have to live in .                                                                                                                Today there are 30 bottlenose dolphins permanently frequenting the Port River environment . Another 300 come and go during the year increasing their number .             Due to the ongoing pollution their domestic habitat is fastly deteriorating .                       Chemicals are dumped in the river , waterboats carelessly zoom along and across it . Dolphins are chased away . Dolphins die . The last victim : a baby dolphin * .                    The cause of death has yet to be ascertained , but most probably it is Human .

These Bottlenose dolphins justly decided to make themselves invisible to the prying eyes of the hundreds of people packed on the “Dolphin Explorer”. Why give Humans satisfaction when daily menaced by their workings , their sheer existence put at stake ? Surely , their “invisibility” in the water should be translated into more “visibility” on land . Fortunately many people are working together trying to defend and protect this treasure    ( ) .

On the way back from Port Adelaide .                                                                                     Looking out of the bus window , I start gaping idiotically at the sky .                                    The Australian sky is truly a wonderful sight .                                                                           Once you start looking , you just want to lose yourself into that vast blue canopy .                A glance can’t embrace it .                                                                                                                      Back home , the sky is usually blocked by buildings , its  intertwined celestial fabric unravelled . City lights make the stars lose their radiance , they suck away their light .           Here the houses are so low or the streets and roads so large that almost everywhere one can gaze up at the blue .                                                                                                                   Everyone ( like me now ) can switch off the light , look out the window and wonder at a full starry sky .

* ( )

About Alessandro Sereni

I am a third year student at "Università Degli Studi Roma Tre" in Rome . I'm majoring in "Political Science for Cooperation and Development" . My main interests are : international politics ; geopolitical dynamics in East Asia ; languages ; Asian culture ( in particular Chinese one ) .
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