Our team of dolphin trainers have years of experience and are dedicated to their profession. For many it would be considered a dream job, but our trainers say that although they wouldn’t trade their work for anything in the world, it is certainly not easy. Working with and caring for the dolphins requires full commitment, passion, and unconditional love.

Ivan Panaid

I was born and raised in Odessa. I have always been fond of sports, swimming, and outdoor activities. Living in a city close to the sea, it is not uncommon to see a flock of dolphins swimming past the coast. I have always been attracted to these animals for their beauty, speed, agility, and playfulness. Knowing that there is a dolphinarium in Odessa, I went on an internship. Thanks to my enthusiasm, hard work, respect, and love for dolphins, as well as good physical fitness, I got a position in the dolphinarium. The happiest moments of my life are associated with this work. I have the opportunity to be close to wonderful animals and improve my communication skills with them daily.

Anastasiia Kunchych

I was born and raised in Kyiv. Since childhood, I loved to bring into the house animals found on the street - kittens, puppies, and chicks. My parents thought that I would become a veterinarian. Fate decreed otherwise, and at the age of 19, I went to Odessa to visit relatives who worked in a dolphinarium at that time. Since then my life has changed forever. I realized that apart from working with marine mammals, nothing else fascinates or pleases me. After moving to Odessa, my fate is inextricably linked with dolphins and fur seals. I graduated from the Faculty of Hydrobiology of the Biological University in order to fully understand the physiology and needs of my beloved animals. During my work in the dolphinarium, I visited many countries and met interesting people who shared with me their experience and knowledge in the field of keeping, psychology, and veterinary medicine of marine mammals.

Sergey Melnik

I was born and raised in Rostov. As a child, I loved to draw. Although I graduated from art school, I was always drawn to the water. I really felt in my element while swimming and canoeing.

After graduating from school, I studied to be a designer. In search of work in 2011, I moved to Yaroslavl. I continued moving around to different places in Russia while trying different fields of work. In 2014 I returned to Yaroslavl in the hope of finding something more permanent. While flipping through job ads I saw that Yaroslavl Dolphinarium was recruiting dolphin trainers. Intrigued, I decided to send in my resume. After interviewing, I was given an internship. Here my life changed completely. I was spellbound by these strong and graceful mammals.

In the dolphinarium, I not only found a career that I am passionate about, but I also met my charming wife Anastasia. We had a son and it was so wonderful to see him grow up alongside the dolphins. They are actually quite similar – they like to play, have fun, and sometimes can be a little naughty. Like our children, dolphins also need our love and care. When you really get to know them, you can start to sense their emotions and moods. We humans share a special bond with the dolphins as intelligent mammals. With them you can be at ease and have fun!

Anastasia Melnik

I was born in Yaroslavl and studied at the Ushinsky Pedagogical University in the Faculty of Physical Education. While studying in Moscow, I worked in the tech field, but I decided that it was not for me. I ended up working as a physical education teacher in a school. I also completed my fitness trainer certification.

By chance, I saw a job listing for dolphin trainers at the Yaroslavl Dolphinarium. It seemed like an interesting opportunity, so I decided to give it a go! I had never even seen a live dolphin show before and it turned out to be so enchanting! I loved meeting all the amazing animals. Seals play little children, Beluga whales are incredibly intelligent and emotional, and dolphins are so adorable!

I was always looking for something new, interesting, and unusual—and I found it all in the dolphinarium. Each day is like a totally new experience. I love how we can learn from the dolphins, too. They have unique personalities and need to be treated accordingly.