Friday, November 29, 2013

Happy Birthday Santini

Happy Birthday to the beautiful Santini, who turns 27 today! This amazing lady is known as DRC's "teacher's pet" because of her remarkable intelligence and her drive to do everything perfectly. Tina loves to take part in special needs programs and also in cognitive thinking games. A huge giggler, Santini loves to belly laugh during enrichment sessions. Happy Birthday Santini, we love you!

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Flagler Makes A Connection


As we welcome new members to the DRC family, it’s obvious that our little guy Flagler isn’t so little anymore. Although he is larger than most dolphins his age, Flagler is a gentle guy with a heart of gold and filled with lots of curiosity. As he continues to learn new behaviors, we like to cognitively challenge him.

During a session, Flagler’s trainer threw a target pole into the lagoon and asked him to dive with it. This is a behavior that many of the ladies in his lagoon have perfected. Since the target pole queens, Pandora and Calusa, moved into the front Flagler has witnessed them maneuver their way through a variety of behaviors without ever letting the target pole slip through their flippers. Now, it’s Flagler’s opportunity to learn how it’s done.

As the pole hit the water, Flagler’s trainer signaled him to go out for a dive. Instead of jumping with or over the pole, Flagler happily retrieved it and swam back to the dock. Once again it was thrown out and Flagler did the same thing. Since he needed a little help understanding the concept, his trainer sent Gypsi out to model the behavior. As his older friend grabbed the pole and flew through the air with it, we hoped that it clicked in Flagler’s mind.

When Gypsi returned to the dock, the trainer asked Flagler one more time to try to go out with the pole. All of a sudden, he got it! While he was still learning and barely grabbed the pole, he knew what his trainer wanted him to do. It was exciting to see the wheels in his mind turn. Soon, he’ll be able to complete what he’s asked to do all on his own.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Tursi's 40th Birthday!

Forty years ago, two Flipper dolphin stunt doubles had an off screen romance and blessed us with the beautiful Tursi. This larger than life lady, affectionately nicknamed Whopper, has seen the facility grow in size, people, and marine mammals .A true happy spirit, she can't help but make sure all eyes are on her by pairing her high energy behaviors with a signature scream. Tursi has a very nurturing spirit and loves to spend time with children, both flippered and human. As a "super mom", Tursi has gifted us with four beautiful children, Talon, Pax, Gypsi, and Gambit. In addition to raising kids, she helps raise new trainers, teaching them who is really in charge: the dolphins! Happy Birthday Tursi. We love you!

Friday, November 22, 2013

Happy Birthday Pandora and Delta!

There’s even more double delight here at Dolphin Research Center. Pandora and Delta have birthdays! Pandora celebrates her sweet sixteen today while Delta turns four. Both of these amazing dolphins are great at aerial behaviors. Pandora excels at her flying dolphin behavior, where she wiggles her flippers, chirps like a seagull, and leaps through the air. Delta is known for his super duper splashe...s as he breaches high into the sky then flops into the water on his side. When they aren’t showing off, you can usually find Pandora chattering away with the girls and accessorizing herself with a target pole or hula hoop. Delta enjoys rough housing with his buddies and is always the first to explore new items and people in the lagoon. Let’s give these two awesome family members a huge Happy Birthday. We love you Pandora and Delta!

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Happy Birthday Merina

It's a beautiful day to celebrate Merina's birthday. This lovely lady, and once again new momma, was born at DRC in 1984. With her striking eyes and elegant rostrum, Merina loves when all eyes and cameras are on her. Miss Merina excels at nearly everything she takes on but her leaping kiss with her sister, Aleta, is always a favorite among guests. We are so excited to celebrate this day with the lovely Merina. Happy Birthday Merinabean, we love you!

Friday, November 15, 2013

Happy Birthday Flagler

Happy Third Birthday to the amazing Flagler! This not so little boy was Merina's first boy in her lineage of girls. Flagler is a fun dude with lots of spunk and dolphinality. He loves to play seaweed toss and get his partner soaking wet while he attempts to fling the green wad back to the dock. Happy Birthday Flagler. We love you little guy!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Merina's New Calf

Today, sometime prior to 7 a.m., Merina gave birth to her beautiful calf!  When the first staff members arrived, mom and baby were swimming around the lagoon.  The little one's dorsal fin was still flopped over its back, which indicated that it wasn't too many hours old. We are thrilled to welcome another beautiful member to the DRC family.

See video of Merina and her calf here:

Friday, November 8, 2013

DRC Closed to the Public

Dolphin Research Center will be closed to the public November 9-10, 2013 for our Founders' Celebration. We will reopen on November 11th.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Aleta's Baby Arrives!

We are thrilled to announce the arrival of Aleta's new baby. The adorable calf was born today at approximately 2:51 p.m. eastern time. Mom and baby doing well!

Here's a video of Aleta's birth:

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Help us celebrate Tursi's 40th birthday!

Celebrate Tursi's 40th birthday by taking her on an adventure. If you're a member of Dolphin Research Center, go to the Member's Only section of our website, click on "What's New", download Flat Tursi and show her around your neighborhood. Don't forget to include a birthday message since this wonderful lady celebrates her 40th birthday on November 26th, 2013! We can't wait to hear back from Flat Tursi about all the sights she's sure to see with all of her extended family members.
To get your flippers on Flat Tursi, log into your membership here.

Happy Birthday Gambit!

Today, Gambit turns three years old! Gambit is a very laid back guy, who likes to play with his friends. His new favorite buddy, is 11 month old Reese. The two love to do sessions together and play tag! They are absolutely adorable together.
Happy Birthday Gambit. We love you!

Friday, November 1, 2013

Dolphin Research Center Salutes Veterans and Military with Free Admission

Grassy Key, FL -- To salute the brave men and women of the United States Armed Forces, Dolphin Research Center (DRC) is offering free admission to veterans, current military service personnel and military families on Veterans Day, Monday, 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 behavior demonstrations throughout the day and a variety of exciting interactive programs that bring guests up close to their family of Atlantic bottlenose dolphins and California sea lions.  The nonprofit facility is open daily from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at mile marker 59 Overseas Highway on Grassy Key.  For more information, call 305-289-1121, or visit

            Dolphin Research Center maintains a strong commitment to the armed forces.  Every day the center offers a military discount of $2.50 off the regular adult admission.  This discount is available to all military personnel and veterans.  Several staff members also served in the armed forces, including Co-Founder/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 originally installed by a group of veterans who participated in a dolphin assisted therapy program.  DRC also works closely with the Wounded Warrior Project throughout the year and was recently honored to receive a Carry Forward Award from the organization.

            Founded in 1984, Dolphin Research Center is a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting peaceful coexistence, cooperation and communication between marine mammals and humans and the environment through research and education.  Located on the Overseas Highway at mile marker 59, Grassy Key, the center is an accredited member of the Alliance of Marine Mammal Parks and Aquariums.