Southern African Shark and Ray Symposium
September 21, 2015 by dyertrust
Blog DICT: By Alison Towner
The third Southern African Shark and Ray Symposium, hosted by Shark Spotters and the Save Our Seas Foundation, took place from the 6th-9th of September at the Blue Horizon estate in Simons Town. A record 114 delegates attended to discuss the latest research findings on cartilaginous fish species along the southern African coastline. In honor of whale day, representatives from the International Marine Volunteers, the Dyer Island Conservation Trust and Marine Dynamics made a special visit to an elementary school, Gansbaai Primer, in the Overstrand.
A story was told to the children in which a Right Whale begins its migration all the way from Antarctica to South Africa and along the way it sees a variety of exotic creatures and becomes jealous of each of their unique features.
To involve the kids in the story, the body parts of each animal were handed out so they could build the whale themselves.
During the whales travels, the first animal that the whale sees is Giraffe on a ship sailing to a far away country.
The whale admires this species wonderful long neck. So he wished for a long neck so that he can see far ahead, and the next moment he sported a long spotted neck just like a Giraffe!!!
The next animal he sees is a flamingo with its gorgeous pink wings soaring high in the sky, and the whale said I wish I had wings so I could fly. Poof, the wings of a flamingo appeared and the whale was able to fly!
After continuing his journey, the whale came closer to the shore and saw monkeys swinging from tree to tree by tails and said I wish I had a tail! A monkey tail appeared on the whale and he happily joined in on their fun. The next creatures he saw were humans, walking around on two legs. The whale thought I want to walk on the land and then two human legs appeared.
From the land, the whale saw a red billed oyster catcher feasting and he thought hmm I wish I had a beak so I could try oysters and the poof the whale had a beak and he ate oysters until he couldnt eat any more.
After experiencing all the different ways of life, the whale was just so happy that he wanted to leap out of the water with joy, but he found that with all of the different animal parts, he couldnt jump like he could before.
So he wished that he could go back to being just a whale so that he could swim and happily jump out of the water, because after all its always better to be yourself.
The children loved the story and thoroughly enjoyed building the whales with all of their mismatched limbs.
After the story we passed out whale pictures and sat and played with the kids as they colored in their whale pictures.
It was a wonderful experience, seeing how happy the kids were and excited they were about whale day.
A few of the children even shared stories with us about when they last saw whales along the coast.