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Las Vegas: Picture this -- these dolphins are marine Monets

January 18, 2013|By Jay Jones

Dolphins at Siegfried & Roy’s Secret Garden and Dolphin Habitat at the Mirage are apparently taking to painting like, well, a fish to water. A “Painting With the Dolphins” program may sound like a "Saturday Night Live" spoof, but the trainers insist it’s real -- and therapeutic.

For $199 per person, visitors to Las Vegas can interact with the intelligent animals that put paintbrush to canvas to create abstract works of art. Holding dolphin-friendly paintbrushes in their mouths, they stroke away as poolside participants hold the canvases in place. Guests choose a canvas color and three hues of paint.

As strange as it seems, this curious, only-in-Vegas attraction apparently provides much-needed exercise.

“Our primary goal at the Dolphin Habitat is to ensure the highest quality of care, which includes high levels of physical and mental stimulation for the animals each and every day,” Philip Admire, who oversees the dolphins’ well-being, said in a statement.

“Our ‘Painting With the Dolphins’ program creates another avenue to mentally challenge and engage our dolphins with their trainers while providing guests with an unforgettable experience.”

Participants get to take home their one-of-a-kind paintings. They also receive a souvenir photo and a certificate of authenticity, just in case friends find it hard to believe that Flipper created the masterpiece. More of the unusual paintings are also for sale in the gift shop.

The marine mammals don their painter’s caps (OK, we are kidding about the cap) at noon and 3:30 p.m. daily. Tickets are available at the Dolphin Habitat ticket booth or by calling (702) 792-7889.

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