October has been a busy month for our resident dolphins with the installation of new platforms in both lagoons. Here's how our 7 family members are doing:
Alfonz - Alfonz continues to be the "big man on campus" and continues to work on learning a new "belly breach" behavior with Kayla. This month, he stayed busy interacting with our locals in the Florida Keys, celebrating our "Local Love" month with $50 swims for Monroe County residents. In an effort to provide variety and mental stimulation for Alfonz, this month the trainers decided to put a creative spin on how we run the Splash & Wade program, which Alfonz participates in almost daily. Instead of simply running the program from the platform, trainers jumped on Kayaks, rafts, and even into the water to conduct the program, which Alfonz seemed to adore!
It’s that time of year again! The dates June 1 – November 30th ring clearly in the minds of all Floridians as the mark of the dreaded hurricane season. The time of year when we all become best friends with the Weather Channel and experience an increase in blood pressure at the sight of Jim Cantore. Names such as Irma, Dorian, Wilma, Katrina, Andrew, and Donna strike fear in the hearts of our communities. After several years of unforgiving storms and devastating hurricanes, it’s no wonder we are all classically conditioned to be trepidatious at the formation of any disturbance off the coast of Africa. We are all now certified as novice meteorologists and have learned to celebrate Sahara dust and seek out Home Depot sales for flashlights, batteries, and generators.
Alfonz – Alfonz has been a busy boy this August! He voluntarily gave a blood sample for a routine check-up, has been hanging out with many of our guests, and is helping his friend Bob learn a new in water behavior with the trainers. Typically, Alfonz is our go-to Splash & Wade dolphin as he seems to really enjoy meeting people from a submerged platform. This month, however, Alfonz has been more involved with the deep-water programs, which has added variability to his day and really increased his attention during sessions. Finally, Alfonz has started learning a “belly breach” behavior with Kayla which is where he jumps out of the water and lands on his belly (a natural behavior for dolphins when they’re trying to communicate).