Sunday, November 22, 2009

Aleta's Baby Arrives!

Dolphin Research Center is delighted to announce the birth of Aleta's calf! The little one arrived this afternoon at 2:22 pm to the cheers and applause of staff, volunteers and visitors.
From the moment of birth, dolphin calves are always swimming. Aleta went right into "mommy-mode", expertly guiding the baby around the lagoon. When dolphins are born, they need that guidance. They can swim right away, but their steering ability needs some work!
Their dorsal fins, which provide stability in the water, are floppy when the babies are born and usually straighten in a few hours. You can see in this photograph, which was taken soon after the birth, that the dorsal isn't straight.
Periodically, Aleta also "surfed" her newborn on her chest.
Aunt Santini, who acted as Aleta's midwife, split her time between swimming with Aleta, with the baby in the middle, and entertaining the onlookers by breaching, diving, and giggling.
Soon after the baby's tail flukes appeared and everyone gathered around the lagoon, someone noticed that we weren't the only beings in the vicinity. Out in the Gulf, a pod of wild dolphins appeared and swam in the area for quite some time. One staff member remarked that, perhaps, the baby's father Kibby sent a text message.
We don't know the baby's gender and might not for quite some time. The little one won't receive a name until we know whether it's a boy or girl. It's also too soon to decide whether she looks more like her mother or her father.
Coincidentally, the newest member of the DRC family shared its birth day with its older half-sister and cousin Pandora. (Pandora's parents are Kibby and Merina, who is Aleta's half-sister.)
It's a happy day for sure!

Monday, November 16, 2009

2010 DRC Calendar Available

Keeping track of your appointments and activities has never been so beautiful. The 2010 Dolphin Research Center Calendar is now available through our online gift shop.

The cover features an underwater picture of Jax, the handsome boy who came to live with us in January 2008. Inside, each month features a beautiful photograph of dolphins and sea lions in the DRC family pod.

Now when you can't be with your gray-faced and furry brown friends in person, you can still look at them every day.

Click here to purchase yours online.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Tanner represents everyone at DRC in thanking our nation's
military and veterans. His grandmother, Theresa, served in the U.S. Navy.

To salute the brave men and women of the United States Armed Forces, Dolphin Research Center (DRC) is offering free admission to veterans and current military service personnel and a guest on Veteran’s Day, November 11th. Personnel only need to show their military identification cards or other proof of military service when they arrive at the facility. Dolphin Research Center offers fun-filled, educational narrated demonstrations throughout the day and a variety of exciting interactive programs that bring you up close to their family of Atlantic bottlenose dolphins. The nonprofit facility is open daily from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at mile marker 59 on Grassy Key in the heart of the Florida Keys. For more information, call 305-289-1121, or visit DRC's website at
Throughout the year, the center offers a military discount of $3.00 off the regular adult admission. This discount is available to all military personnel and veterans. The center's oldest dolphin is herself a veteran. Theresa, believed to be in her early-to-mid-50s, spent time in the United States Navy's dolphin research program. Several staff members also served in the armed forces, including Chief Operating Officer Mandy Rodriguez who served in the U.S. Marine Corps. On the facility's grounds, there is a special garden area dedicated to veterans of all wars. This garden was installed by a group of veterans who participated in a dolphin assisted therapy program. It was rededicated in August with a special ceremony.