We sat down with Senior Marine Mammal Specialist, Wendy Kellam, to talk about her history with DPMMR and dolphins. We asked her a series of questions, and here's what she had to say:
How long have you worked here?
I've worked for Dolphins Plus/ Dolphins Plus Marine Mammal Responder for 25 years.
Wow that's a long time and quite the achievement. Where are you originally from?
I grew up in Wilton, Connecticut.
What brought you here? How did you end up working with dolphins?
My parents brought me to the facility back in 1990 to participate in a Dolphin Biology class with them and I was lucky enough to fill a job opening they had at that time.
I think the animals chose me.
What are some of your fondest memories of your time here?
I would have to say meeting some of the guests that come through with a common heart. Also knowing the different staff who all have a common heart. And, of course, the dolphins who connect us all.
If you could get in a time travel machine and go to any point in your career to relive one day, when would it be?
I was in the water with Russell and Lynn (former trainers) and we played water baseball in the dolphin lagoon with Dinghy, Isla, Nicki and Dreamer.
What does DPMMR, the dolphins, and the staff mean to you?
They've been my family for over half of my life. I believe in what we do as an organization and individually.
If someone asked you to explain why BB is special, what would you say?
I would say its because she knows more than all of us put together and should run for President!
Rapid Fire: Top three funniest memories:
Duck Tape Delores, Wasabi Terry, and..... Pelican in a Port-a-John.
(We'll leave those stories for another blog post sometime!).
If you've ever had the opportunity to interact with Wendy, you know just how lucky we are to have her as part of the team at DPMMR.
She is a wealth of knowledge, a kind spirit, and a fantastic friend to the dolphins, her coworkers, and the guests she connects with. Her passion is contagious and we hope she'll stick around for another 25 years!
***Interview BONUS: We asked Wendy to submit some pictures for this blog and this was the first picture of 'her' she sent in. It's too funny not to share.
(Above: Actual photo of Wendy before Coffee)