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Experience Dolphins Up Close and Personal at Georgia Aquarium

ATLANTA, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) -- 41NBC's Amanda Castro and Melissa Lee end their animal encounters series with a poolside visit to check out some dolphins.

Backstage at the Georgia Aquarium, inside the dolphin theater lives Phebe. She's just one of the many dolphins there who loves to play, eat and get her belly rubbed.

For senior dolphin trainer, Jeff Fogle, the best of his job comes from doing those things on a daily basis.

"My favorite part about working with these guys is just the bond that we build between the animals and us as trainers, day-to-day working with these guys is so much fun, you build that relationship with them...that relationship is huge," said Fogle.

Aquarium guests get to see that bond first hand, through the dolphin encounter.

Fogle added, "We give an opportunity to our guests to get up close and personal and meet our dolphins. They learn what we are as trainers, what we do, and also get to interact with dolphins by touching, feeding, and playing with our dolphins here."

The trainers explained dolphins swallow their food whole, they use their blowholes to take in air when they come up to the surface and can jump 20 feet in the air.

"We hope they learn a lot more and help strive to conserve the environments out there to make sure we can keep the marine mammals safe out in the wild," Fogle said.

It's the interaction that makes the job so rewarding for Fogle.

"I love their first reaction when they're touching, when they're splashing them and living through their eyes."

To participate in an animal encounter, head to www.georgiaaquarium.org.

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