Dolphin Encounters


Dolphin Encounters
Dolphin Encounters - Blue Lagoon Island
Type Private
Industry Tourism
Founded 1989, Abaco, Bahamas
Headquarters Nassau, Bahamas
Key people Robert Meister (Managing Director)
Products Dolphin Swims, Dolphin Encounters, Observer Programs
Website www.dolphinencounters.com

Dolphin Encounters is a natural seawater dolphin facility located on Blue Lagoon Island, (Salt Cay), Nassau, Bahamas. The company started as a rescue facility in 1989.[citation needed] The beach scenes in the movie Splash were taped on Blue Lagoon Island and the facility houses 18 Atlantic bottlenose dolphins, (tursiops truncatus) and six California sea lions. Dolphin Encounters is owned and operated by a local family. The facility has received a Cacique Award from the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism. In 2003, Dolphin Encounters and Project B.E.A.C.H. received the Cacique Award from the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism. [1]

Contents

History

Dolphin Encounters began in Nassau, Bahamas when two dolphins from a closed aquarium were rescued and relocated to a large seawater habitat in Abaco, Bahamas.[citation needed] Soon after, six more dolphins were imported into the facility. A few years later, the marine park on Blue Lagoon Island opened. In 1995, after a multi-million dollar expansion, the operation was renamed Dolphin Encounters.

Hollywood connection

In 1996, Universal Studios used three Dolphin Encounter owned dolphins in the movie Flipper. Dolphin Encounters was also involved in the making of several commercials for international companies. S

Professional affiliations

  • Member of the International Marine Animal Trainers Association (I.M.A.T.A)
  • Member of the Alliance of Marine Mammal Parks and Aquariums (A.M.M.P.A)

Educational programs

The facility offers education and marine conservation programs to local schools and underprivileged children.

Interactive programs

The facility offers three interactive programs to the public as well as a Program Observation. Interactive programs include Dolphin Swim, Dolphin Encounter, and Sea Lion Encounter.

Non-profit

A non-profit element of the marine park called Project B.E.A.C.H (Bahamas Education Association for Cetacean Health). The facility has participated in the Make-A-Wish Foundation program.

Awards

In 2003, Dolphin Encounters and Project B.E.A.C.H were awarded the Cacique Award - the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism's highest honour for excellence in tourism.

In 2009, Dolphin Encounters on Blue Lagoon Island became the first member of the International Marine Animal Trainers’ Association (IMATA) to receive accreditation for their animal trainer program. [2]

Marine mammals

Dolphins

There are 18 dolphins at the facility, all of which are native to Bahamian waters and half of them were born on Blue Lagoon Island.[citation needed]

Sea lions

There are six California sea lions at the facility. Two males (Murray and a newborn calf) and 4 females (Xena, PJ, Maggie, Kalika). The sea lions (excluding the calf Milo) were displaced following Hurricane Katrina in Gulfport, Mississippi.[3]

Loggerhead Turtle

In 2007, the facility acquired a loggerhead turtle, known as "Lucky", after she was found in the lagoon. Facility staff noticed that determined that the turtle's front flippers were seriously damaged as the result of a shark attack, so the turtle was kept at the facility. [4]

References

External links


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