Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Happy Birthday Luna!

Join us in wishing a huge Happy Birthday to Luna, who turned four years old yesterday. Luna was born under a blue moon which is why she was named the spanish word. Following in the flukeprints of her mother, Pandora, Luna loves to play and tease her trainers. Her new favorite toy is a target pole, just like her momma! As a more reserved dolphin, Luna can sometimes be shy until she warms up to a new toy or person. Once she has your trust though, she shines bright like the moon she was named after. Happy Birthday Luna, we love you!

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

National Hug Day

Happy National Hug Day! We're sending out dolphin sized cuddles to all our wonderful members and supporters.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Item of the Week

The item of the week is an awesome DRC car magnet. Fits atop most gas caps or great for the back of your car. Get yours today and help spread the name Dolphin Research Center!

Thursday, January 16, 2014

New Baby Names

We are so pleased to announce that our newest family members have been named!

Aleta's daughter's born on November 6th is named Diva. Given that she is following in the flukeprints of her mother and her grandmother, Misty, this is a fitting... name for this little girl. She's already showing star quality and independence even though she's only a couple of months old! We have no doubt that as her dolphinality continues to develop, so will more of the diva traits she might have inherited.

Merina's fourth daughter, born on November 12th is named Windley, inspired by Windley Key, an island up the highway a bit from DRC. This continues a tradition of choosing Florida Keys-related names for Merina's offspring. Second daughter, Calusa, was named for the Native American tribe that lived in the Keys. Cayo (third girl) is the Spanish word for island. Son Flagler was named after Henry Flagler, the famous developer who built the railroad through the Keys.

Thank you to all who submitted your suggestions and for all your support of our amazing family.

Ready for a Session

Sea lions have excellent hearing so it’s no surprise that Karen, Kilo and Lina are often ready for a session before their trainers step foot in their habitat. During a narrated presentation on the sea lions, that’s exactly what happened. Kilo went to the front door that leads to the wooden boardwalk of the habitat while Karen and Lina swam around and listened to find out where their trainers would station them.

Once Lina saw her trainer, Loriel, walk out onto the bridge of their habitat she eagerly jumped onto the dock and took a seat in her chair. As Loriel got ready, Lina patiently waited to see what the session would hold. Lina learning to wait is a huge part of the training process. As a younger sea lion, she often has a short attention span or is easily distracted, but that day she was ready and eager to interact.

Loriel introduced new objects. She held out a Frisbee and asked Lina to touch it. At first, Lina wasn’t sure what to think about the new toy but slowly she got closer to it and touched it. Then Loriel showed her a dive ring and asked her to touch it as well. However, Lina didn’t seem to be as interested in the toy as she was with the Frisbee.

After a few introductions, Loriel ended the session on a positive note. She asked Lina to spin and wave goodbye to the crowd that excitedly watched the session, and then gave her ice to signify they were done. It’s very important to leave an interaction on a positive and fun note so that next time Lina sees her new toys or does a session, she’ll be just as enthusiastic.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

What's That Name Again?

We have a lot of nicknames for the dolphins. Some are used facility wide, like Pandorable for Pandora or MooMooSaurus for Molly. Others are used by certain staff members, such as Gyppopatamus for Gypsi or Jack Attack for Jax. Like we do with our human friends and family, we each have names of affection for the dolphins and sea lions.

Rainbow has a lot of affectionate nicknames.
Recently, a guest said, “I have heard this guy been called all these different names today and I can’t figure out if he has a real name.” He was referring to Rainbow. However, the big guy also goes by Bodacious, Bo, Bow Bow, Bolicious, Rain, and so much more depending on who is saying hello. Since Rainbow is used to all these nicknames and who calls him what, it doesn’t bother him to hear a different name every time someone walks by. In fact, he gets excited when he recognizes who is saying hello by their distinct greeting and voice.

Sometimes nicknames come and go very quickly for the dolphins and other times they stick for a long time. It’s funny that a lot of times, the nicknames for our flippered family members are longer than their actual names! Too bad we don’t know what cute nicknames they may have for us.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Happy Anniversary Jax!

Six years ago, we welcomed a special little guy to the DRC family. Jax was found in the St. Johns River in Jacksonville, Florida, estimated to be under a year old, alone and with significant physical injuries. Due to his young age, the government deemed him unreleasable and we were very happy to offer the amazing little guy a forever home. Jax currently lives with his best friend, Rainbow, and spe...nds much of his day socializing with the dolphins in other lagoons. Although he looks a little different from the other dolphins, he's missing part of his dorsal fin, pectoral flipper and tail fluke, Jax continues to thrive and prove that he can do everything the other dolphins can do.
Happy Anniversary Jax, we love you!

Monday, January 6, 2014

Happy Birthday Gypsi!

Happy Birthday to our beautiful girl Gypsi who turns seven today! Gypsi is a Flipper granddaughter and a born star. An extremely athletic young lady, Gypsi can back tail walk across her entire lagoon. Gypsi's favorite hobby is people watching so if you're out by the front lagoon today make sure you give her a huge Birthday shout out.
Happy Birthday, Gypsi! We love you baby girl!

Item of the week: DRC shot glass

Shot glass collector? Add our DRC logo to your set! Full 1 1/4 oz shot.

Find this item and many others on the DRC Online Gift Shop.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Dolphin Research Center to Welcome Wounded Warriors for Dolphin Swim

On Friday, January 10th, we will again present the Charles Evans Day for the Wounded Warrior Project, welcoming Soldier Ride when the adaptive cycling event comes through the Florida Keys.  For the fifth year in a row, the cyclists and their support group will stop at DRC where upwards of 60 soldiers will enjoy a Dolphin Encounter dolphin swim free of charge, thanks to the generosity of the Charles Evans Foundation.  The group is expected to arrive between 2:00 p.m. and 2:30 p.m.  The public is invited to join DRC staff and volunteers as they line up to give a hero’s welcome to the participants.  Admission to DRC is free for current members.  Other visitors can pay general admission or become members with their donations when they get to DRC.

These soldiers are coping with life-altering injuries to body, mind and spirit, including amputations, burns, traumatic brain injury, and post-traumatic stress disorder.  To watch them leave their troubles behind on land for a joyful time swimming with dolphins inspires all who see the experience.  For many of the participants, the dolphin swim further empowers them as they courageously battle the physical and psychological damages of war. 

The Charles Evans Day for the Wounded Warrior Project at Dolphin Research Center is truly a community event.  Before the Dolphin Encounter, they will enjoy a delicious lunch catered by La Trattoria of Key West and desserts baked by DRC volunteers.  Captain Hook’s Dive Shop, Marathon, loans them wetsuits and life vests.  Towels are provided by the Calm Waters Spa at Hawk’s Cay.  After the swim, the soldiers also receive a complimentary disk of photos.

Dolphin Research Center is committed to supporting veterans and active duty personnel from all branches of the United States military.  Throughout the year, the organization provides programs not only for the wounded warriors, but also for caregivers of the injured, family of active duty personnel, and families who have lost a loved one serving in the war.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Happy New Year

Dolphin Research Center wishes everyone a fin-tastic 2014!