Every year, we welcome new faces to the DRC family in the Volunteer Resources Department. Some are snowbirds who spend the colder months down here in the Florida Keys, while others are college students or graduates looking to get some hands on experience in their field of interest. Recently, we welcomed a group of interns who volunteered several years ago who came back to visit their old stomping grounds.
The pair of interns, one from the Animal Care and Training Department and another from the Research Department came by to see both their human and animal friends. Much has changed since the last time they stepped foot at DRC. The dolphins had different living arrangements. Two more calves, Diva and Windley, were born. Animals, both dolphins and birds, knew behaviors that they weren’t even close to learning last time they were here. So much was different, yet still the same at the same time.
We know from experience that the dolphins remember old friends. We’ve had trainers who have left DRC for years come back and their old flippered friends greet them excitement. So it was no surprise that there were three boys who were very happy to see the old interns. Louie, Flagler and Delta, who now make up a small male group, seemed ecstatic to say hello.
As the girls greeted their favorite dolphins, the three boys squealed! They made all sorts of noises and even swam away from the trainers to see the girls out on the causeway. The interns were so excited that the boys remembered them.
We hear stories about things like this all the time and how special it is. Our dolphins touch the lives of so many people every day. We’re very fortunate to have such an amazing flippered family who make connections with all of us.