Spring is such an exciting time of year and also known as a season of rebirth and new life, perfect descriptors of spring at DPMMR. However, spring at DPMMR is also known as the start of our “busy season” and in a way – the start of our “New Year.” Consequently, February is usually a month dedicated to laying the foundation for a successful year ahead. Our training teams spent most of February teaching the animals new behaviors to further connect with our guests, our veterinary team spent the month completing annual physicals, our guest service team worked to stock and inventory our gift shop, and our maintenance teams worked to repair and update the facility so that we can fulfill our mission.
Life became a little more interesting for our team back in 2016 when we welcomed two very round, very uncoordinated, and very cute baby dolphins to our family. Tug was born to Dinghy on September 25th and Jett was born to Jessica on November 24th, just shy of two months apart. Both male calves were sired by Alfonz and have grown up together over the past five years. During that time, we’ve been able to get to know them and watch their personalities change and develop.
Since its inception in 1972, computerized tomography has revolutionized the ability to diagnose, treat, and monitor injuries and pathology in humans. Computerized tomography (CT) involves serial, radiological, cross-sectional scans, resulting in detailed, three-dimensional images of internal anatomy (Wellington & Vinegar, 1987). This tool was adopted for use in domestic veterinary medicine in 1989 and later utilized in post-mortem assessments of wild, stranded cetaceans (Schwarz & Saunders, 2011). In 2004, the U.S. Navy Marine Mammal Program conducted the first live dolphin CT scans to provide insight into cranial anatomy (Houser et al., 2004).
Alfonz - It's business as usual this month for the big man on campus! Alfonz has stayed busy meeting guests from all over the country, playing games with his trainers, and of course... flirting with the ladies! This month, we were able to get a true "weight" on Alfonz for the first time in over 3 years thanks to our brand new dolphin scale. Alfonz weighed in at an impressive 517 pounds, maintaining his title of "biggest dolphin" at DPMMR.
The four pillars of DPMMR include Animal Care, Education and Outreach, Scientific Investigation, and Rescue and Rehabilitation. While all four pillars are critical to our Connect to Protect mission, one of the most important is Animal Care, which for us simply means providing the absolute best care and welfare for the dolphins that reside at our facility and depend on us.