Secrets to Swimming With
I have a theory about mankind’s interaction with nature. It’s a little odd, with no scientific evidence whatsoever to back it up. So I’ve never told many people about it, lest they think I’m some sort of tree-hugging nutjob.
But it’s the only explanation I’ve been able to come up with for why we have so many rare wildlife encounters, such as getting a chance to spend a solid half-hour swimming with Galapagos Penguins, the world’s rarest penguin species.
My theory is this: Animals have an innate ability to sense human emotions and intentions. When we approach them with fear, trepidation or aggression (i.e. negative energy), their instinctual response is fight or flight. But when we approach them with respect, admiration and cautious curiosity (i.e. positive energy), they tend to find humans, as a species, profoundly fascinating.
This approach has led us to have remarkable animal encounters all around the world. We’ve had memorable moments with Manatees in Crystal River, Florida; Black Bears in North Carolina’s Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge; a Red Fox in Torres del Paine National Park; and too many others to mention. Time after time, for whatever reason, wild animals have chosen to come closer to us.
But our extraordinary experience swimming with Galapagos Penguins was special because it was so incredibly rare. Our International Expeditions naturalist guide, Cristina Rivadeneira, said she’d never seen anything like it before in 19 years of working in the Galapagos Islands.