Our Adopted Dolphin

Dolphins have been fascinating people for thousands of years. We are charmed by their beauty and grace, and drawn by an elusive sense of their intelligence. They have found their way into our history, art, mythology, and literature. In recent times, dolphins have begun to emerge from their shroud of legend as we learn more about their very real (and no less fascinating) capabilities and needs. The history of research in the field of marine mammals is short: only about forty years. This barely covers a single dolphin's lifetime. The relatively little that is known about marine mammals hints at a wealth of knowledge relevant to our shared future on this planet.

Our office has adopted Cayo through the Dolphin Research Center in Florida. We encourage you to adopt a dolphin too to help protect these beautiful animals that give so much to us for so level.

Cayo was born on December 13th 2006. She is Merina’s third daughter and was born during the night. Truly a special gift, she was the first calf at Dolphin Research Center to be conceived through artificial insemination. Named Cayo after the Spanish work for key, this little girl is a vision to behold. With her long graceful rostrum and big beautiful eyes Cayo will surely follow in Merina’s fluke prints as DRC’s next cover girl! Of course, beauty is only skin deep and Cayo also possess incredible intelligence and an independent spirit.

Early on trainers discovered that this young lady has her own mind. While the other babies were learning to come over for sessions Cayo would be off exploring the lagoon. Merina fostered this behavior with her laid back mothering style. After three babies, Merina is confident in her abilities as a mom. She has no trouble giving her youngest daughter a little independence. Cayo took full advantage of this freedom. Some of her first sessions with trainers took place while Merina was at a different dock. Normally this milestone is achieved later in life, but Cayo did solo sessions with trainers before she even ate fish!

Cayo was also quick to follow another family tradition. Both of her sisters Pandora and Calusa are famous for teaching themselves how to do a spiral dive. Not to be outdone by her older siblings, Cayo spiraled through the air beside Merina before she was eight months old. Spiral dives aren’t her only specialty. Cayo is proving to be quite the little athlete. She has also mastered dives, breaches, speed runs, and flying forward tail walks. She often practices these behaviors between sessions, seeming to fly through the air with glee.

As a strong willed and independent young lady, Cayo is ready for anything. For Cayo, life is an adventure, and like the amazing ladies before her she will meet the future head on, and of course, on her own terms.

Here’s a link to the Dolphin Research Center’s Kid’s Area for your enjoyment!

For questions about membership programs, including Adopt-A-Dolphin:
Dolphin Research Center Membership Department (drc-mbr@dolphins.org)

History of Dolphin Research Center

Dolphin Research Center was founded as a not-for-profit corporation in 1984 by Jayne Shannon-Rodriguez and Mandy Rodriguez. Their goal was to establish a unique education and research facility. The Atlantic bottlenose dolphins and California sea lions presently living here provide a range of personalities and backgrounds. Some were born here; others came to DRC from separate facilities for various reasons or were already living here when Jayne and Mandy began managing the center. The public is invited to meet them all and learn each one's story.

The properties on Grassy Key that make up Dolphin Research Center consist of about four acres of land and water with frontage on both US. 1 (the Overseas Highway) and the Gulf of Mexico. Our dolphin and sea lion family lives in ninety thousand square feet of pristine seawater lagoons with low fences separating them from the open waters of the Gulf of Mexico. These pools were blasted out of the coral rock bottom by the property's original owner and range from four to thirty feet in depth, with an average depth of fifteen feet. Natural tidal flow flushes them daily. These pools represent an irreplaceable asset, as the alteration of the coastline is severely restricted today by environmental concerns.

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