We are responsible for giving our dolphin family the best life possible – for the rest of their lives.
Island Dolphin Care is home to 8 bottlenose dolphins, none of which could survive on their own in the wild. Therefore – these animals depend on us to care for them. Our goal is to seek out and provide the best welfare possible for our dolphin family, and we’re committed to ensuring their every need is met or exceeded.
When you visit our center – you’ll notice our dolphins reside in a natural seawater lagoon where a team of animal care specialists provide enrichment, preventative vet care, and stimulation throughout the day. Our animals are never forced to do anything they don’t want to and have complete choice in their interactions.
MEET OUR DOLPHINS
Age – Estimated Mid 40s
Squirt is IDC’s largest dolphin and is the matriarch of our Pod. The mother of four (Fiji, Lotus, Tashi, and Dalai), her motherly and gentle demeanor shines during therapy programs with our clients. When not interacting with our clients, Squirt is often seen pair swimming with Dalai, her youngest calf. Squirt is easily identified by the prominent notches in her dorsal fin and flukes, her large size, and a line of freckles on her melon.
Age – Estimated Mid 40s
Sarah has been an important part of IDC’s therapy programs since its inception, and it is clear to her caregivers that Sarah enjoys interacting with children. Sarah is a very special member of our pod, as she was the first dolphin to receive airway expansion surgery which drastically improved her health. Sarah is known for her stubborn but endearing personality, her love of attention, and for training the humans more so than the humans train her. Despite being the mother to Grace and Bella, Sarah spends most of her time with Lotus. Sarah can be distinguished by her darker coloration, antenna shaped markings on her melon, and a tall “witches’ hat” shaped dorsal fin.
Birthday – November 3, 2000
Bella is known for her beautiful light pink coloration and for being our most vocal dolphin. From impressive displays of athleticism to her gentle nature in therapy programs, Bella is one of our most diverse animals and excels with any task given to her. Bella is incredibly observant of the other dolphins, humans, and her environment. Bella has freckles and pink flashes along her sides and is very light gray in color. Bella is one of our more experienced animals and takes after both her parents, Fonzie and Sarah, as an incredible dolphin for facilitating therapy programs.
Birthday – June 25, 2004
Fiji is Squirt and Fonzie’s oldest son. He is very playful and curious, not only in his environment, but during training sessions with his trainers. Fiji is fairly easy to identify due to his light grey coloration, specifically in his dorsal fin, melon, and flukes. When not interacting with our clients or his trainers, Fiji can be heard whistling at guests or trainers that pass by the lagoon.
Birthday – August 27, 2008
Lotus is one of our most intelligent animals and knows more behaviors than most of the other dolphins in our pod, likely due to how quickly she learns novel behaviors from her trainers. Lotus’s distinguishing features include beautiful markings on her melon, a long, pointy rostrum, and a very dark colored dorsal fin. Her caregivers devote a great deal of time creating enrichment for her that will challenge Lotus, and some of her favorite devices include sinking dive rings and a feeding device called the tug-o-feeder. Lotus gets along excellently with all the other dolphins but spends the majority of her time with Sarah.
Birthday – July 11, 2008
Grace can be easily identified by her light-colored birthmark at the tip of her rostrum and the jagged notches that define her dorsal fin. Just like her mother Sarah – Grace keeps her caregivers on their toes, but her loveable nature, loud vocalizations, and playful spirit make her a fun dolphin to interact with. Known for enjoying a wide variety of reinforcers (ice, toys, rubs) – trainers are able to get very creative in their sessions with Grace and teach her many fun behaviors.
Birthday – August 13, 2012
Despite not being the youngest member of the Pod, Tashi is the smallest in both weight and length. What Tashi lacks in size, he makes up for with charisma – and he’s actually quite the “ladies’ man.” When not interacting with his trainers, you will likely find Tashi spending time with one of the female dolphins. Tashi is bold, not afraid to try new things or step outside of his comfort zone which makes training husbandry (veterinary) behaviors easy. Playing with his volleyball and learning new behaviors from his trainers are two of his biggest reinforcers. This little guy is most easily identified by his small size and the multiple notches in the back of his dorsal fin.
Birthday – September 2, 2014
Dalai is Squirts youngest daughter and can often be found swimming with Squirt. Despite technically being a “sub-adult” dolphin, Dalai retains many characteristics from when she was a calf such as her petite stature and playful spirit. Dalai is very inquisitive about her environment, but is never far from mom, especially when novel toys or objects are introduced in her environment. Dalai’s favorite toys are pool noodles, a tool her trainers use to reinforce Dalai during training sessions.
My daughter is nonverbal, has severe Autism, and struggles with OCD and anxiety. I cannot say enough about what this program has achieved, and the progress I see each year.”