Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Jax Meets Jack!

Suzi and Jack Hanna meet Jax for the first time

On Wednesday, October 15th, DRC welcomed renowned wildlife expert and television host Jack Hanna to the lagoons to tape a segment for his Emmy-winning children’s series Into the Wild. Jack had visited DRC years ago and both he and his wife, Suzi, really enjoyed this return trip. They interviewed Mandy Rodriguez (DRC’s co-founder and Executive Vice-President) for an “overall” perspective of DRC today. Then Vice-President of Animal Care and Training Linda Erb took them into the lagoon to meet Jax.

They learned all about Jax’s amazing story of survival, and how he joined the DRC family and has been adopted into the pod. All of this special attention with television cameras, a boom microphone and several crew members didn’t faze Jax one bit. He shone in the spotlight, giving everyone a chance to see his special “dolphinality”.

Jax seemed very relaxed as he soaked up lots of extra attention.

After the interview, Jack and Suzi shared a Dolphin Encounter with Madison (Oldest granddaughter of Mandy and Jayne Shannon Rodriguez, DRC’s co-founder and President/CEO. Maddy demonstrated terrific dorsal tow technique and a great time was had by everyone.

Although DRC does a fair number of media visits every year, this was a particularly special one for many of us on staff. We’ve watched Jack Hanna for years on his own television shows, as well as when he has been a guest on programs such as The Tonight Show, Good Morning America, and Late Night with David Letterman. He’s a warm, gracious man and generously posed for pictures with many of the staff.

This episode of Into the Wild will most likely air in Spring 2009. The show is syndicated in major markets around the country. The producer promised to let us know an airdate and we’ll happily share that news with all of you.