Friday, September 27, 2013

The Reigning Gypsi

Doesn't Gypsi look royal?

It’s natural for dolphins to always find something to play within their environment. Whether they locate a toy from their human friends or foliage on the bottom of the lagoon, there’s always fun to be had. Their individual “dolphinalities” emerge when you allow them to figure out what they find enjoyable.

Gypsi is a little bit of a tomboy. She likes to play with balls and show off her athletic side. However, the other day she showed us her more feminine side. Gypsi found a target pole in her lagoon and decided to carry it around. She looked like a very regal and majestic princess as the pole acted like a scepter tucked under her pectoral flipper. Gypsi swam from one side of the front lagoon to the other showing off her prize to her adoring public.

Suddenly, Gypsi recognized somebody in the crowd and began to swim towards her. She made her way as close as she could to the viewing area by her lagoon. Slowly she maneuvered her target pole to her friend in the crowd, as if to say, “This is for you!” Unfortunately, the woman was not able to reach the gift but she told Gypsi “thank you” for the offer. Gypsi then swam away to play with her friend in the lagoon.

Every once in a while she’d come back, and put the pole under her flipper and swim away, only to return it when she saw her friend by the front again. It was so sweet to see Gypsi give her friend a present that

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

One Hit Wonder Day!

Luna and Delta love to show off to music!

Did you know today is One Hit Wonder Day? There are lots of fun songs that the dolphins like to dance to during In Tune sessions that were once chart toppers.

What song would you like to see the dolphins and sea lions boogie down to next time you visit!?

Monday, September 23, 2013

Conchtoberfest 2013

Join us tonight, September 23rd, at Sunset Grille for Jamaican Me Crazy Night to kick off Conchtoberfest 2013! We hope to see you there.

Item of the Week

Do you miss the Florida Keys? Check out this awesome DVD in our online gift shop! One of the most comprehensive DVDs for planning or remembering your Florida Keys trip. Beginning in Key Largo and ending in Key West, this DVD highlights both Keys and all those in-between!

Florida Keys Adventures

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Coastal Clean Up Day!

Today is Coastal Clean Up Day! Every piece of paper, cigarette butt or bottle that makes its way to street sewers ends up in streams or rivers and eventually down to the ocean which has the potential to compromise the health of wild animals as well as humans. Take advantage of one of the most popular volunteer days of the year and head out to the beach and/or inland locations and help remove trash and unnatural debris.

DRC will be holding a coastal clean up on October 3rd at Tom's Harbor Bridge. If you're in the Keys, feel free to join us!

Monday, September 16, 2013

Item of the Week

This 16 ounce tumbler will keep your drink hot or cold. Made of high quality acrylic (bpa free). Handwash with warm soapy water. Not suitable for dishwasher, microwave, cooking or freezing. You can choose purple or turquoise. See this item and many more great gifts in our online gift shop!

Friday, September 13, 2013

Happy Positive Thinking Day!

Happy Positive Thinking Day! How high will you soar today?

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Dolphin Behaviors

One of our favorite behaviors is a dive! Each dolphin does it their own way. Some leap high, while others keep it low. It's always fun to see how their next dive will go!

What's your favorite dolphin behavior!?

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Reese Channels Theresa

He doesn't know it, but his grandma surfed mangrove pieces too!
Each and every animal that calls Dolphin Research Center their forever home is showered with an abundance of love. Whether they’re with us for their entire lifetime or have been brought here for a variety of other reasons, they are all family members. Each one deserves to be honored in a unique way. When Reese was born, we wanted to give a tribute to his grandmother, Theresa, with a name that could carry on the family legacy.

When we tell stories about Theresa, a memory that sticks out is mangroves. Theresa was known for balancing mangrove pods on her melon. It was a game that she’d spend hours playing. It seems that this trait is genetic because Reese does the baby dolphin version.

While his mom, Santini, plays with people in interactive sessions, Reese explores. Recently, we’ve seen him surf leaves on his head. Since this is something his grandmother engaged in frequently you can only imagine our excitement when Reese began emulating her behavior – even though they never had a chance to meet. Cameras turned to snap a photo so that we could share it with the staff members at DRC.

Seeing dolphins who once called DRC home reflected in their children and grandchildren brings warmth to our hearts. Hopefully Reese has more of his Grandmother Theresa’s dolphinality.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Item of the Week

The featured item of the week is a DRC rash guard! Available in teal blue and royal blue, these awesome rashies look great while you play with a dolphin, snorkel, or do anything else in the water.

Rash Guards

Friday, September 6, 2013

Read a Book Day!

September 6th is Read a Book Day! Louie was in for a special treat when his friend brought a book to read to his new flippered friends.

If you could read to a dolphin, which book would it be?

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Let's Weigh In!

Dolphin Research Center practices a variety of medical behaviors with the dolphins to reinforce preventative care. One of these behaviors is beaching. This originally begins as the kids learn to boost themselves up on floating platforms as a form of play. They use their tail to propel themselves out of the water onto the dock. The others then take turns pushing them off. We saw this happen a lot last year when Delta and Flagler moved into a lagoon away from their moms. Trainers use the opportunity to get them ready for learning to beach onto a scale on the dock so we can check their weight. 

Flagler tries to bring himself up on the dock.
Recently, the front lagoon weighed in. It was interesting to see the different ways that each of the kids got themselves onto the dock, posed, and got off. Flagler, Delta, and Louie were able to pull themselves from just the dock onto the scale. However, they couldn’t lift their tails out of the water yet. This requires a lot of core strength, but with each attempt they made a little more progress.

The girls, Luna and Gypsi, had completely different experiences. Luna, who has a more reserved dolphinality, couldn’t get all the way on the dock. Her trainers will continue to work with her to make it fun and exciting. Gypsi, on the other hand, has abs of steel. She’s known for her backward tail walk and can go all the way across the front lagoon. It’s no surprise she was able to get on the dock with little struggle, pose, and hop right back off several times in a row.
Luna works on beaching without using the scale.

With so many youngsters in the lagoon, it’s fun to see how each of them grows and learns differently. We’re sure that soon enough all of the kids will be beaching like pros. Until then, it’s fun to encourage them as they continue to do their best to learn the behavior.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Rainbow's Colorful Nature

Rainbow loves the attention he gets when he people watches!
Time spent with the dolphins never gets old. Whether they leap through the air as though they defy the laws of gravity, or vocalize while you walk by, it’s always a wonderful feeling. However, there is one big guy here at Dolphin Research Center that manages to get a lot of attention when he literally does nothing.

His name is Rainbow and there is more to this loveable guy than meets the eye. If you’re a guest who has never walked through DRC’s grounds, and you saw a big dolphin laying with one eye up at the causeway in the same spot for most of the day, you’d wonder to yourself, “What’s wrong with him!?” We can assure you absolutely nothing. Rainbow has just mastered the art of people watching.

This handsome man not only gets people to speak and stare at him, but because his behavior is questionable, it brings a crowd. It’s not only new visitors who give him attention but often friendly faces who explain why this handsome fellow is all by himself in the corner of the lagoon. It makes us giggle to explain why Rainbow has a “toupee”. He could get sunburned on his head from staying in that spot most of the day, so we protect him with zinc oxide as sunscreen.) Or why his eye is closed. (He likes to sleep in that spot.) It’s an ingenious way to get lots of attention and a great conversation starter for staff and volunteers to explain dolphin behavior.

As soon as you see Rainbow in action during a session, you can’t believe that’s the same dolphin. If it wasn’t for the white zinc oxide you might think we switched out dolphins. With Rainbow, whether it’s time to play or nap, he always manages to spark your attention.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Item of the Week

Check out this awesome new shirt in our giftshop! It's one of the staff favorites. Available in both adult and youth, this Dolphins of the World T-Shirt has 15 images of dolphins found in different parts of the world on the back and the DRC logo on the front.