For twenty years, Dolphin Encounters located on idyllic Blue Lagoon Island has offered Bahamians and visitors from around the world the unique opportunity to interact and learn about friendly marine mammals in an unparalleled all-natural marine habitat.
As part of its 20th Anniversary Celebration, Dolphin Encounters is inviting the children of The Bahamas to name the latest addition to their dolphin family – a healthy male calf. The dolphin baby is the fourth calf born to Princess on October 11th 2008.
“Dolphin Encounters is very fortunate to have another baby calf born on Blue Lagoon Island to Princess, our eldest dolphin,” said Robert Meister, Managing Director of Dolphin Encounters. “Princess has been a part of our beloved marine mammal family from the very beginning. Through our many educational programs, thousands of school children have met her and have come to love her and all of our animals as much as we do. We wanted the honour of naming her boy calf to be given to the children of The Bahamas.”
Students enrolled in any grade from kindergarten to grade twelve in the Bahamas are invited to submit suggestions for the name of the baby male dolphin. In keeping with Bahamian culture, the name selected must be related to island culture, history or geography. All submissions must also include the reason the student feels the name should be chosen. The student whose name is chosen will receive a special dolphin gift kit, a free Dolphin Adventure Program for their entire class where they will meet the baby and Princess.
“The baby calf and Mom are doing very well,” said Kim Terrell, Marine Mammal Director at Dolphin Encounters. “Princess is an extraordinary and experienced mother and has given birth to three of our other dolphins including, Shawn, Abaco and Salvador. When dolphins successfully breed under human care, it is a scientific indicator that they are completely adapted to the environment in which they live. The fact that eleven of our eighteen dolphin family members were born at Dolphin Encounters makes us proud that the all natural environment which we have provided is ultimately ideal for the Atlantic Bottlenose Dolphin.”
“We have a great deal to celebrate and be proud of in our twenty year history but nothing compares to our extraordinary animals that have brought joy and a greater understanding of marine mammals and the environment in which they live to Bahamians and visitors alike,” added Mr. Meister. “We look forward to receiving submissions from students and to announce the winning name in April.”
Home to Atlantic Bottlenose dolphins, including the internationally famous ‘Flipper’, as well as California Sea Lions which include the stars of the movie ‘Andre’, this leading attraction continues to set the standard for marine mammal interactive programs in the world. More than 2.5 million people in its extraordinary twenty year history have visited the facility and gained a higher appreciation for these brilliant and affectionate creatures and their natural marine environment.
Visitors are inevitably thrilled by their time with the dolphins, but the mission at Dolphin Encounters is not only to provide entertainment — it’s also about education. From its earliest days, the facility has offered a multitude of free programs to schools and underprivileged children to inform Bahamian teachers and students about marine life and the importance of protecting our environment.
A non-profit element of the marine park, Dolphin Encounters – Project B.E.A.C.H. (Bahamas Education Association for Cetacean Health) was developed in close consultation with the Bahamas Department of Education, the National Science Teachers Association and BREEF (Bahamas Reef Environment Educational Foundation). To date, thousands of local students and teachers have benefited from its innovative, on-site and classroom programs.
In 2003, Dolphin Encounters and Project B.E.A.C.H. received the prestigious Cacique Award, the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism’s highest honour for excellence in tourism.
Dolphin Encounters is a member of the International Marine Animal Trainers Association (IMATA), the largest organisation of its kind. In 1997, the facility was accepted into the prestigious Alliance of Marine Mammal Parks and Aquariums (AMMPA), and in 2004 became an accredited member of the group, confirming its status as one of the top marine parks in the world.
For more information about Dolphin Encounters and our native dolphin family, call 242-363-3250 (general inquiries) or 242-363-1003 (reservations).