Best Caribbean Animal and Bird Viewing Part 1

The shark you feed

can't take a bite out of you.

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Ever wanted to hand feed a shark--and not wonder whether you'll come back with all your body parts?

Perhaps you'd rather swim with a dolphin in the open ocean. Or stay on land and count hummingbird wings until your eyes begin to cross.

You don't even have to be scuba certified to hand-feed the school of lemon sharks at the Curacao Seaquarium. A quick training session will provide all the skills you need to swim through the 15-foot deep lagoon filled with stingrays, tarpon, snook, lobster and angel fish.

The sharks are behind a large, clear acrylic wall pockmarked with feeding holes so you can lip fish through to feed the always hungry animals.

Trying to hold onto the fish while a shark nibbles it is always an adrenaline blast--and totally futile. This is a rare opportunity to feed a shark yourself. In most places professional feeders do the job while you sit back and watch.

If you'd rather watch sharks in the open ocean, dive operations in the Bahamas at Walker 's Cay and Long Island have been shark feeding for years.

Until you've been caressed or totally enveloped by the wings of a stingray, you don't really know what interacting with wild animals is like. The best place by far for such intimate socializing is the shallow water spot known as Stingray City in Grand Cayman's North Sound.

Big schools of southern stingrays swim here always, though the best time to dive or snorkel is the morning when the rays are still hungry. Or on a Sunday when cruise ships are absent.

If you prefer your rays large--say, manta-sized with an 8 to 10 foot wingspread--you can often find them just off Tobago in the summer months. However, they haven't been as reliable in recent years,

The ever-grinning dolphin is probably the most loved animal in the sea. You should make at least one sighting of the famous JoJo who lives in the world around Providenciales ( Provo ) in the Turks & Caicos.

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