A baby dolphin is making a big splash by captivating visitors and employees at Dolphin Discovery.
A bouncing baby girl was born at the park on 29 July to Allegria, becoming the first bottle nose dolphin born in Cayman.
Guests have enjoyed seeing the newborn frolic with her mother for the last few months, but the official birth announcement was not made public until an important hurdle was cleared.
‘The first three months are critical, but to any species, even to humans, the first three months of a baby’s life you have to take care of it,’ said Carlos Moreno General Manager.
He says park veterinarian Juan Franco closely monitored the 12-month pregnancy and birth, adding while they do not weigh or measure newborns during the first year ‘we have seen a considerable increase in size.’
Not quite four months old, the as yet-named calf is playful, inquisitive and quite comfortable interacting with people. Mr. Franco says there’s a very good reason for that.
‘Since the very first day you start to get the calf used to humans’ he said.
The interaction process is started with one trainer; then other trainers are added into the water and finally other staff members.
Both Mr. Franco and Mr. Moreno say it helps that Allegeria is not a new mom, and trusts the people that work at the park.
Park officials say they are planning to launch a name-the-baby-dolphin contest, giving local school children the opportunity to have a say in what Cayman’s first baby dolphin should be named.