July 28th is a special day for DPMMR. It's the day each year we celebrate another trip around the sun with our big guy Bob!
If you've participated in our splash and wade program, you've likely met Bob first hand and know what a cool dolphin he is. To celebrate 26 years of caring for Bob, here's 26 fun facts (and some cute pictures too).
- Bob is named after the reggae singer, Bob Marley. (And if you ask his trainers, the name fits well!)
- Bob was the third baby dolphin born at DPMMR back in 1994.
- Bob is has sired four dolphin calves in his lifetime.
- Bob is the longest dolphin at DPMMR and is nearly 10 feet long.
- Bob's favorite toy to play with is a sprinkler that is shaped like a fire hydrant.
- Bob was born with a unique genetic respiratory condition which is comparable to Asthma. When he takes a breath, some people say he sounds like Darth Vader. Don't worry though, Bob is still healthy and has a great quality of life thanks to his preventative healthcare.
- Bob is trained to use an inhaler and dolphin nebulizer as part of the preventative healthcare mentioned above.
- Bob is definitely a "Momma's boy" and has a special bond with his mother Jessica.
- When Bob gets 'excited' he makes a special vocalization we refer to as the "tweety bird."
- Bob's nickname is "Bobby Brown."
- Bob's other nicknames include "Bobert," "Bobby," and "King Bob."
- Bob's tail flukes are larger than any other dolphin's tail flukes in our care.
- Bob is the only dolphin whose tail flukes curve upward.
- One of his favorite activities is for his trainer to push him around the lagoon by his giant tail flukes.
- Bob's dorsal fin is very unique and has an indent on the leading (front) edge which none of the other resident dolphins have.
- Bob builds very strong relationships with his trainers, but takes his time doing so. New trainers must earn Bob's trust and put their time and effort in this process. However, once you develop a relationship with Bob, he makes every session rewarding with his exuberance and excitable behavior.
- Bob recently learned a shark impression and he loves showing it off to our guests!
- Although many of our dolphins enjoy receiving "Ice Cubes" as reinforcement... Bob does not!
- Bob seems to really enjoy when people get excited, clap, and cheer for him. This is way more reinforcing for Bob than receiving ice.
- Bob also really enjoys learning new behaviors of all types. Trainers will utilize teaching him a "novel" behavior to help keep him engaged in session throughout the year.
- Bob has a pink belly with a lot of freckles!
- Bob has a very high metabolism but not a large appetite to match. Because of this, fatty fish and sardines make up the majority of his diet which helps Bob maintain an optimum body condition.
- Bob is the only dolphin at DPMMR that knows the "scream" vocalization.
- Bob is one of the most reliable animals when it comes to husbandry (healthcare) behaviors. He is trained to have his teeth brushed, give blood samples, remain still during an ultrasound, and also to lay upside down for cold-laser therapy for his "nub."
- When Bob is creating a painting, he prefers to make Polka Dots rather than long brush strokes.
Bob manages to put a smile on all who meet him! Some call it "magic," we just call it friendship.
Happy 26th Birthday, Bob!