Sunday, February 17, 2013

Dolphin Research Center

We spent all day here at the Dolphin Research Center:

This Guy meets you on the way to the Lagoons, very talkative and whistles a lot too!

These are the front Lagoon areas, about 4-5 peened off areas of this cove on Florida Bay

These are the Back Lagoons, another 4-5 seperated areras. I knew I had seen this somewhere before and thought it was from the TV series Flipper, but it was from the Movie flipper.

Here they load a dolphin in a craddle so they can inspect and medically treat.

It takes a big crew to corner the dolpghin and gently glid them into the cradle so they can get the Med stuff done.

This Lagoon was for the sole use of this mom and her three month old baby, they seem to get a lot of special attention.

Yeah these guys are everywhere, but the DRC captures them, nutters them and releases them back.

I was being funny with this guy till he Snalted at me, I thought he was spitting but they blow out excess salt out of their nose occassionaly.

You can pay extra if you want to get in the water with them or hang out and be a assistant trainer for the day, a good way for them to raise money for their reaserch.

A couple of Dolphins painted T-Shirts which are for sale in the gift shop.

They like there tails massaged.

This guy carried this baton around with him, seemed to be his only toy.

Just another trick or "behavior" 

She asked him to go get her a gift.

They would put these little plastic cups over there eyes and then have them perform some behavior demonstrating their abilty to navigate with just their sonar. The cup fell off in the water so he was just bringin it back to the trainer.

They enjoyed the massage thing

Serious Air

I know, they all say I look like Flipper!
We saw The Dolphin Research Center on the way to Islamorada and wondered if it would be a good place to visit. Later our cruiser friends Roxanne and Conrad emailed and suggested that we take the time to go check it out as they had a good visit there. The Admiral did a bit of research and finally we decided it would make a good trip. It looked kinda of funky at first but we got our tickets and entered the center. We got there pretty early so things were just starting up. As we made our way back to the Lagoons where the Dolphins are pinned in a very natural setting on Florida Bay a bit of Deja Vu struck. I had definitely seen this somewhere before. I instantly thought it must have been from the Flipper TV series but In fact the Flipper TV show was filmed at a similar spot in Miami, but this was the location for Flipper the Movie. In fact some of Flippers siblings are swimming around the place as you read!
. "1963 - Mitzi, starred in the original pilot movie Flipper, along with five of Santini's other dolphins. The movie's plot was actually based on Santini’s close relationship with Mitzi.  Two of the other dolphins, Little Bit and Mr. Gipper, were the parents of Tursi who lives here today with her sons Talonand Pax."

We were struck at the close relationship the trainers had with the dolphins. Very Different  from Seaworld in Orlando. The trainers had a Professional relationship with the dolphins there, but here is was way more casual and the trainers and dolphins seemed to just be friends. There is non stop dolphin activities all day as onece they end the training or activities in one Lagoon another starts up in another so besides the other activities they have to educate the public on issues related to dolphins and sea life  in general, you can observe the dolphins going through their paces all day long. If you pay a few extra bucks you can get in the water and work/train/play with the dolpins. I watched one young girl and perhaps her mother swim with the Dolphins and even did the deal where you hold on to two Dolphins Dorsal fins as they Towed them all the way around the Lagoon.
The Admiral always likes the Mother/baby combination so she spent a lot of time taking pics of those two, the baby was three weeks old I think and was already imitating her mothers moves.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for visiting Dolphin Research Center. We're so glad you enjoyed your experience and appreciate you sharing on your blog!