Grand Bahama school students to name baby dolphins
FREEPORT, Grand Bahama – The International Underwater Explorer’s Society (UNEXSO) is looking to creative young minds to name two baby dolphins they welcomed to the Dolphin Experience family in 2009. UNEXSO has launched a competition within local schools to find unique ‘Bahamian’ names for the two young calves born at the Dolphin Experience.
All elementary schools throughout Grand Bahama are eligible. Each class is being asked to collectively submit a name for consideration. Operations Manager for The Dolphin Experience Dr. Robert Eiser said this way of naming the dolphins has become tradition. “Most if not all our captive bred dolphins have been named by school children. It’s our way of not only giving something back to the community, but a very special way of getting kids more involved with The Dolphin Experience and possibly generating interest in marine life.” The Dolphins at UNEXSO are currently named after Bahamian Islands and Eiser suggested that contest participants should stick with the Bahamian theme.
General Manager at UNEXSO Linda Osborne is excited to see what names students come up with. “Kids by nature are very creative. We are happy to give them an outlet to express their creativity and name our two bundles of joy at the same time.”
Dolphins Taino and Robala are the proud mothers to the baby calves. Fourteen (14) year old Taino gave birth to a healthy calf on September 24, 2009; she is the largest of the younger dolphins at the Dolphin Experience. Robala, twenty-eight (28), is the largest female and had her baby one month later on October 23rd. The two babies bring the dolphin count at UNEXSO to sixteen.
The Dolphin Experience Neo-Natal Team has determined both calves are male, and that mothers and babies are doing well. The Neo-Natal Team is comprised of The Dolphin Experience senior staff with specific personnel assigned to feed and care for each dolphin mother and calf throughout each day.
Besides looking after the dolphins, this team also has a hand in educating kids about them. More than one thousand local kids from schools throughout Grand Bahama benefit tremendously from The Dolphin Experience Education Program. The unique program offers students a one on one encounter with a dolphin and teaches conservation. “We provide free educational school programs each week”, says Dr Eiser, “The students have a great time and one of these kids will no doubt take our place one day.”
This latest competition to find great names for UNEXSO’S two dolphin calves is just another way to show the company’s commitment to education. “UNEXSO and The Dolphin Experience remain committed to educating children of all ages about our most valuable resource; the ocean and all creatures within it,” said General Manager Linda Osborne. She highlighted, it’s not just about the competition. “We hope that in asking the school children of Grand Bahama to help us name our newest additions at The Dolphin Experience, we pique their interest in marine mammals. Several of our current dolphin trainers have come through local schools and we want to continue that tradition.”
Photo 1: UNEXSO Dolphin Experience Mother Robala and Calf – Robala spends some quality time with her baby calf at the UNEXSO Dolphin Experience enclosure. Her calf was born on October 23rd last year. UNEXSO has decided to host a local school competition for elementary students to name the baby dolphin.
Photo 2: Proud Mom Taino and Calf at UNEXSO’s Dolphin Experience – One of the younger dolphins at the Unexso Dolphin Experience, Taino swims alongside her playful calf. This healthy calf was born on September 24, and will be given a Bahamian name soon as part of a competition between local school students.
Photo 3: UNEXSO’S Jumping Dolphins – Five well trained dolphins showing off their skills as part of UNEXSO’s Dolphin Program. These dolphins can be seen daily. Students from the winning class in this latest baby naming competition will take part in a dolphin encounter as part of their prize package.