Sushi at New Orleans

At Philadelphia, Sushi was always a more quiet and retiring sea lion.   Sushi has emerged as most of the trainers' favorite sea lion to work with in New Orleans.  Here she is, on the same backstage training seat used earlier by Lilli.

Suzanne invited me to get a kiss from Sushi.  I used to get sea lion kisses on a daily basis as a trainer at Oklahoma City, but I never got one from Sushi before.  Note that I've reverted to (training) type by putting both of my hands behind my back--just as I was taught to do at Marine Life Aquarium, where Suzanne also worked for a time!

My wife, Carol, on the other hand, had never been kissed by a sea lion!  Here she is, getting the big wet one from Sushi.

Finally, here's a glimpse of the future.  Suzanne and the other trainers had just started working on underwater targeting with the sea lions, in the hopes of developing an underwater show that would better highlight the sea lion's capabilities.  Sushi had only started underwater target training the day before our visit, but as you can see, she already was catching on!  Very dimly seen to the right is Jennifer, one of the other trainers.

A big thank you to:

Suzanne Smith and Jennifer (sorry, I mised her last name) for making this old trainer and his wife very welcome at the sea lion exhibit!  It was a huge thrill to see "my" two girls doing so well, and under such excellent care.  I know we'll be back to see them as soon as possible!

Andrew Abshier