Monday, June 2, 2008

Jax Joins the Front Lagoon!

Jax loves jumping and diving in the lagoons.
Now healed, his dorsal fin shows the results of the
possible shark attack that injured him when
he was about 6-8 months old in the St. John's River.

DRC’s newest family member, Jax, has joined Santini, Ras, Theresa, Tursi and Gypsi in the front lagoon. Jax is a juvenile male who was rescued over a year ago from the St. John’s River in Jacksonville, FL. He was severely injured – probably by a shark attack or run-in with a boat – and found swimming all by himself for quite some time. After the federal government decided he needed to be rescued, he spent several months at Gulf World Marine Park in Panama City, FL, before joining the DRC family in January.

We wanted to make his transition smooth, happy, and as stress-free as possible. Jax lived in our medical pool for a few weeks so he could get to know us and so his body could gradually make the transition from pool water to Gulf of Mexico water. He then moved into one of the lagoons where he could check out dolphin pod members in neighboring pools.

We thought that Tursi, who is definitely an ├╝ber-mom, might be just the adult, maternal role model that Jax needed. Tursi’s daughter, Gypsi, now over a year old, is close enough in age to Jax to be a good playmate. So, first we put these three together in a separate lagoon. It didn’t take long for them to become acquainted and begin swimming around. In a matter of days, Tursi grew comfortable enough to let Gypsi and Jax play – under her supervision, of course.

After a few weeks, we decided to introduce Jax to more members of his DRC dolphin pod. At his age, estimated to be around two years, he would still be living with his mother and a maternity pod out in the open oceans. It made sense to us to put him with a similar social group. For a few days, the “new kid on the block” hung out by the fence while everybody observed each other. Jax’s trainers played with him and gradually coaxed him over to play at various docks with other dolphins. It didn’t take long for him to get the “lay of the lagoon”. Now he ventures out to join the other youngsters, Gypsi and Ras, for free spirited play. He continues to participate in sessions with his trainers and shows definite interest in all the other activity that takes place in the front lagoon.

It’s obvious that mature ladies and kids alike have definitely accepted Jax as a member of the DRC family!


Anonymous said...

Jax sure is lucky have a home at DRC! I am glad he is adjusting well. :c)

Anonymous said...

Jax is so cute and handsome! He has turned out to be a talented dolphin and a friendly one indeed!