Eden Cox, a nine year-old, fourth grade student of Xavier’s Lower School was announced the winner of the Dolphin Encounters Baby Naming Contest.
Selected from more than 1,000 entries by students throughout the Bahamas, Cox’s, winning submission ‘Clifton’ is now the name of the youngest member of the dolphin family at Dolphin Encounters on Blue Lagoon Island.
In a presentation before the entire school, Robert Meister, Managing Director of Dolphin Encounters, revealed the winner and the name chosen. Amid much cheering and applause Eden Cox was presented a certificate, a plush dolphin and a large gift bag.
“It was not an easy task picking a name from so many creative entries,” said Robert Meister, Managing Director of Dolphin Encounters. “We were looking for originality and for the reason the student submitted the name. Eden chose ‘Clifton’ in honour of Clifton heritage. Clifton Heritage National Park has the distinction of being the only national park in the Bahamas where the historical and cultural legacy of three distinct civilizations, that of the Lucayans, the Loyalists and the Africans meet. The Clifton site also happens to be near Flipper beach. This is where the Universal’s Studios movie Flipper was filmed in part and three of our dolphins starred in that movie – so even our dolphins have a connection. We felt this was a wonderful name for our Bahamian dolphin.”
“I feel so excited and happy that I won,” said Eden, hugging her stuffed dolphin close. “We live right near Clifton and one day not long ago my Daddy took me to the park and we walked around. I learned about the history and I thought ‘Clifton’ would be a good name for a boy dolphin because of the heritage.”
As part of her prize, Eden and her entire fourth grade class, along with her teacher Mrs. Amoranna Maycock, will visit Dolphin Encounters on Blue Lagoon Island to meet Clifton and his mother Princess for the first time. The students will also participate in a Sea Rangers educational program.
“Our entire class is very excited for Eden and to visit Clifton and his dolphin family in person,” added Mrs. Maycock. “As part of our Social Studies class we just had Dr. Jacinta Higgs visit and speak about the Clifton heritage. Eden chose an excellent name.”
“Xavier’s Lower School is pleased and honoured to have one of our students win the Dolphin Encounters Baby Naming Contest,” said Mrs. Denise Louis, Principal of Xavier’s Lower School. “The entire school participated in the contest. This was an excellent way to foster the children’s writing skills. Teachers had their class think of ideas for names and then asked them to write and state the reason why they wanted to have the name chosen. Congratulations to Eden for her winning entry. This has been a tremendous year for our school, we recently won the Archdiocesan Spelling Bee, another student was a winner in a national poster competition and now Eden has won this contest. We are very proud of her and all of our students on a job well done.”
“Congratulations to Eden on winning and a very big thank you to her and every student from around the Bahamas that sent us a name,” added Mr. Meister. “So many wonderful names were sent from many islands and we learned how much the children of the Bahamas care about our dolphins. As a Bahamian company, with a dolphin family that is also 100% Bahamian we wanted the baby dolphin’s name to reflect our culture. This is our 20th Anniversary year and we wanted the children of The Bahamas to have the honour of naming the youngest member of our dolphin family. Clifton has received a wonderful name.”
Since 1989, Dolphin Encounters, located on idyllic Blue Lagoon Island just three miles off Nassau, Bahamas, has offered visitors a unique opportunity to interact with enchanting Atlantic Bottlenose dolphins, including the internationally famous ‘Flipper.’
Home to dolphins, ranging in age from several months to 42 years-old and six California Sea Lions, including Milo – the first baby sea lion born in The Bahamas – Blue Lagoon is a private island with an all natural ocean habitat for the animals.
The natural seawater reserve provides the dolphins and sea lions with a rich and healthy living environment while affording guests an exceptionally intimate and safe space for their encounter.
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.
The facility has also made the lifetime dream of many children come true by participating in the Make-A-Wish Foundation program.
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 and sea lions, please visitwww.dolphinencounters.com or call 242-363-3250 (general inquiries) or 242-363-1003 (reservations). Or become a fan of Dolphin Encounters on Facebook.com.