A dolphin saved me in a dream! Having a dolphin rescue me was pretty cool, however the rest of the dream was not so cool. But before I get to the dream, I have to recap the events leading up to it.
On Tuesday, March 13th, there were a lot of posts on facebook and twitter about the plight of Maui’s dolphin. Most of the headlines read: Only 55 Maui’s dolphins left! This was not what I wanted to read; another marine mammal on the brink of extinction. So depressing.
Even though I’m not that familiar with the Maui’s dolphin, which actually lives along the coast of New Zealand, not Hawaii, it’s still horrible! I scanned the headlines, felt terrible about what I was reading and due to the demands of life, moved on to other tasks. By the end of the day, I’m embarrassed to say that I don’t remember thinking about it much, but it must have been lurking somewhere in my subconscious.
That night, actually the following morning right before I woke up, this is what I dreamed (italics added for effect): There I was standing on a short wood plank pier. At the end of the pier were two giant great white sharks with their mouths gaping open. They clearly wanted me to walk closer, hopefully so close that I would just fall into their waiting mouths full of sharp glistening white teeth; their eyes watching my every move. The pier seemed to be getting shorter or somehow I was getting closer to the sharks, but I couldn’t escape. I was frozen under the spell of their magnificent maws as they reeled me in. Suddenly, a beautiful dolphin radiating light leapt between me and the great white sharks breaking the spell. I thought…wow that Hector’s Maui dolphin saved me. And then I woke up.
Throughout the day yesterday I couldn’t stop thinking about this dream…what did it mean? Since then I’ve gone back to read the articles about this critically endangered dolphin and here’s what’s interesting, there technically isn’t a Hector’s Maui dolphin (the name my subconscious conjured up). In 2002, the Maui’s dolphin was discovered to be a subspecies of the Hector’s dolphin and while they look very much alike, they are different. Both dolphins live along the coast of New Zealand and suffer from destructive fishing practices.
There’s still hope for the Hector’s dolphin, with an estimated population of less than 7,400, but not much hope is left for the Maui’s dolphin with only 55 dolphins one year or older. Even worse, female Maui’s dolphins don’t reach sexual maturity until they are seven to nine years old. They are also the world’s smallest dolphins, averaging about 4.5 feet in length. And both species look spectacular, with black shading around the face, dorsal fin and tail, offset by a cool gray, plus they have a rounded dorsal fin. (Here’s a link to some great photos.)
On NABU International’s website dedicated to Maui’s and Hector’s dolphins, it’s pretty clear from a video on their homepage that New Zealand’s government isn’t going to do much to save these dolphins thanks to the influence of the fishing industry. NABU International isn’t giving up though because there’s also a petition on the home page urging New Zealand’s government to do something to save Maui’s dolphins before it’s too late. I signed the petition, it seemed the least I could do since one of the dolphins rescued me in my dream. Please sign and share this petition with as many people as possible!
But wait, a miniscule bit of hope was offered in a Treehugger article yesterday, it turns out that two Hector’s dolphins mated with Maui’s dolphins, which is good news for Maui’s dolphins’ shrinking gene pool. So maybe my dream name of the Hector’s Maui dolphin wasn’t so far-fetched after all.
I still wonder why that dolphin saved me in the dream and now I also wonder…who will save them?