Tuesday, August 14, 2012

What's in a name?

A.J. was named for his parents.

Guests often ask how we name our dolphins. Our animals have unique identifiers that are given to them for various reasons. Some of our dolphins like Molly, Sandy, and Rainbow, came to us from other facilities and we didn’t want to change the handle they already knew. Other dolphins have been named based on their “dolphinalities”.

Pandora, for example, was given her designation because she was a curious little girl. She was nicknamed our “bumper baby” because she would get into anything and everything. Her mom, Merina, had a hard time keeping up with her! Even as a newborn, Pandora was an independent calf eager to explore her surroundings.
Our rescue dolphins, Jax and Louie, were given their names because of where they were rescued. Jax was found in the Saint John’s River in Jacksonville and Louie was found after the oil spill in Louisiana. We felt it important to honor their stories.

Many of our other dolphins were given names connected to their genealogy. A.J. is in honor of his parents Aphrodite and Joe. Delta’s name is a combination of his grandfather Delphi and mom Aleta. We love our dolphin heritage and it’s important for us to always remember our cherished dolphins.

Luna and Pax got their names because of when they were born. Luna was born on a blue moon so she was given the Spanish word for moon. Pax, means peace in Latin, and we thought this appropriate for a dolphin born on Easter Sunday.

Unlike humans, we do not name our dolphins when they are first born. We take suggestions for names from staff and members, but nothing is official until we know more about our new little blessing. Gender cannot be established until we get a good view of a baby’s belly side which may take several months. Once we know whether we have a female or male baby dolphin and a little bit about their personality, we can select the perfect name for our new family member.