Thursday, January 15, 2015

Diva's Meets the Front Lagoon

A little more than a year ago, Aleta gave birth to her beautiful baby girl, Diva. The two of them enjoyed some bonding time before moving in with Merina and her daughter Windley, who is six days younger than Diva. As the young calves grew a bit older they were introduced to Tursi, DRC’s resident super mom, who was more than happy to play nanny. The five of them enjoyed a few months together until both Aleta and the trainers decided it was time for Diva to meet the rest of the family.
Mom and calf spent a few days near the front lagoon communicating with the rest of the clan that lived together. They whistled across the gates and peeked over at one another throughout the day. Then in an early morning session, the gates finally opened and Diva met a rambunctious group of ten!

The first two excited dolphins to meet the young baby were Cayo and Louie who left their dock and enthusiastically swam in to meet Diva. Following them were Luna, Gypsi, and Gambit. Then, Aleta made a big leap by taking her baby through the open gate to where she’d never been before: The front lagoon.

Santini, Aleta’s younger sister, raced over to swim alongside with her two year old son, Reese. The four of them became a unit as her mom, auntie, and cousin showed Diva the ropes. The curious social butterfly kept her mom’s flippers full the entire time. Diva wanted to play with all the youngsters.
Here at DRC, we replicate the way the dolphins live out in the wild. The first home that Diva knew was a maternity group, where moms, calves and nannies live together. As she gets older, she will experience life with other juveniles. When she’s old enough to learn how to take care of calves she’ll no doubt have the chance to try out the role of a nanny or babysitter. 

It was a big day for both the dolphins and human family members here at Dolphin Research Center. You can only imagine how many staff members lined the wall of the front lagoon and watched as Diva swam her way into the front. As we saw mom and baby make their way through the gate, we all cheered and congratulated both Aleta and Diva on this milestone.

*Note: This story is from several months ago, but we wanted to share it with members who were not able to be at the facility for this awesome experience.*