Research & Husbandry
After an early morning underwater session. We went over to RIMS and observed husbandry procedures on two animals. We watched (and learned) as blood was drawn and blowhole cultures were taken. These medical 'checkups' are important in assessing and maintaining the health of the animals. Very interesting! Regular checkups are important for dolphins, just as for children, because they don't often show any behavioral signs of illness until it is too late.
The PM session revealed behaviors we had not yet witnessed here. We saw lots of slow swimming, with little vocal activity, but much contact and pectoral fin rubbing. Alita seemed to be the center of attention as a group of 7-10 dolphins swam slowly with her around the pen. Esteban tried to woo her with some interesting vocal 'chirps' but she remained unimpressed. Another adult female, Cedena, finally intervened chasing him away. We had not seen such a large group swimming in formation for such a long period of time. Always something new.
Kathleen & Robin