Get to Know Our Marine Mammal Family

Alfonz

Alfonz

Alfonz, an adult male Atlantic bottlenose dolphin, was one of the first dolphins born at DPMMR on July 25, 1993. He inherited his pink belly from his father, Fonzie, a trait he continues to pass on to his own sons, Tug and Jett. Alfonz exhibits a very round, yellowish rostrum and is easily identified by a white scar on the leading edge of his dorsal fin. Born in 1993, he is our oldest adult male and one of the largest dolphins in our population. Alfonz generally exhibits a very mellow personality, but has been known to show off in more ways than one! He proudly demonstrates one of our highest back dives, and can often be found inventing novel behaviors all on his own. Alfonz understands the cognitive concept of “Create,” in which he can offer any behavior. This appears to be Alfonz’s favorite behavior, and he is known to start “Creating” in sessions whenever he pleases! He is often the first to participate in our daily enrichment, and during a study on dolphin problem solving, Alfonz’s cooperative nature and focus demonstrated to staff scientists that bottlenose dolphins can cooperate to solve tasks. It doesn't take anyone long to find that Alfonz is truly one of a kind.

"Alfonz really has a way of connecting with our guests. He’s such a unique, creative, and fun dolphin to interact with and his charisma makes it easy for people to fall in love with him."

- Hunter Kinney (Animal Care Internship Co-Coordinator)

Support A Dolphin

BB (Baby Bit)

BB (Baby Bit)

She is our subadult female at DPMMR, born on September 13th, 2011, and is remarkably bold and full of personality! BB likes to spend a lot of her time with her younger brother Tug, but when she's not busy playing “babysitter” to the two calves, you can observe her playing with our subadult male, Isaac, and exploring her environment. BB's favorite games involve throwing toy balls or sea grass around her lagoon. Always clever and persistent, her trainers have observed her participating in alternate hunting strategies. BB is a quick study and loves to mimic what the older dolphins are doing. Do not let her name fool you, as BB is most recognizable by her robust size and double chins. Her dorsal fin and flukes are pristine, with no defects or distinct marks around the trailing edges. BB also has two distinct small freckles on her ventral side of her peduncle, like her father LB.

"Watching BB grow from an awkward chubby baby into the independent, intelligent and brave dolphin that she is today has been one of the single most privileged experiences of my life."

- Luke Bullen (Assistant Director of Training)

Support A Dolphin

Bob

Bob

Named after the reggae singer, Bob Marley, Bob is a laid-back dolphin with a gentle demeanor. Bob's dark gray color, prominent lower jaw, massive length, and tall dorsal fin are his most prominent identifying characteristics. Nicknamed Bob-O by his trainers, Bob is known for his special "scream" vocalization and his exuberance and excitability during guest interactions. As the alpha male of DPMMR, he has fathered 4 calves and takes pride in paternal investment. His tranquil nature is evident during bonding moments with his offspring. However, Bob can easily be described as a "man of action" and typically enjoys fast-paced sessions with his trainers and learning new behaviors! In our structured program, Bob delights guests with his high-speed dorsal tows and foot pushes, and Bob's mild manner is particularly evident in his past work with special needs children, where Bob delicately kisses and hugs these special kids.

"I love that Bob is silly, and that you can be crazy and weird and he finds the energy exciting and reinforcing."

- Bethany Wallace (Animal Care Internship Co-Coordinator)

Support A Dolphin

Dinghy

Dinghy

Ding-a-ling, also known as Dinghy, Ding, or Mother, is our alpha female and resident "human trainer". Characterized by petite features, Dinghy has a stout, triangular shaped dorsal fin and very small flukes. Robust in shape and strength, Ding is extremely physically fit. Ding is often recognized by her distinct eyes, brown in color with a prominent white ring around the outside edge and evenly toned gray belly. Just behind Ding's neck, she has several prominent wrinkles that stretch across her collar area. As the mother of six offspring, Ding is a no nonsense mom and teaches her calves right from wrong at an early age. As a successful and caring mom, Dinghy has participated in research studies exploring how mothers call their wandering calves to return to them. Despite being the eldest animal in our population, Dinghy thrives on learning new behaviors and seems to enjoy her time in the spotlight. During interactive programs, Ding typically captures the audience and delights her trainers with her signature, high pitched "squeal" vocalization. Dinghy keeps the trainers on their toes and is truly one of a kind.

"Dinghy has taught me that, in life, although sometimes you are the teacher, most of the time you are the student."

- Dr. Holli Eskelinen (Assistant Director of Research)

Support A Dolphin

Isaac

Isaac

Isaac is the subadult male at DPMMR and was born June 1, 2011. Much like his namesake, Sir Isaac Newton, Isaac exhibited a great capacity for learning at an early age. Currently, Isaac is the focus of several ongoing research projects exploring dolphin cognition, as he finds learning new things immensely reinforcing. It is very easy to tell when Isaac is excited, as his loud and varied vocalizations let trainers and guests know he is having fun. Isaac enjoys any opportunity to learn, whether it is a new cognitive concept or an exercise behavior. He offers creative vocalizations both on and off session to his trainers, and is easily one of the most vocal animals in our care. Isaac also enjoys spending time cuddling with trainers and guests. In his spare time, this spunky dolphin can be seen playing “big brother” to the two calves in the lagoon.

"Isaac never ceases to amaze me with his quick wit and focus during training sessions. It is impossible to walk away from an interaction with Isaac and not feel touched by his charming and larger-than-life personality."

- Dr. Kelley Winship (Research Associate)

Support A Dolphin

Jessica

Jessica

Jessica, our longest female dolphin, has a protruding lower jaw and a small, triangular dorsal fin. She is easy to recognize by her small, triangular shaped dorsal fin, protruding lower jaw, light belly with gray freckles and hazy, light eyes. Otherwise known as J-Mom or Jess, Jessica enjoys being a mom and is best known for her tranquil, yet strong personality. Jessica is the mother to four beautiful offspring and takes the role of mothering and babysitting very seriously, even extending her protective nature to other dolphins. Although easy going by nature, Jessica's status as a dominant female over other dolphins is evident when protecting the young calves in the lagoon. Jessica prefers her calves stay close by and tends to nurse her calves for an extended period of time. She is also well known for her strength, speed, and excitement during interactive programs with guests. Jessica is very vocal when excited and her trainers have been able to place many of her unique sounds that she offers during training sessions on signal.

"Jessica is a sweet, excitable dolphin. She instills the desire to do things correctly in the other dolphins she works with. Working with Jessica is like having another trainer on the dock!"

- Krista Silva (Senior Marine Mammal Trainer)

Support A Dolphin

Jett

Jett

Jett is the youngest member of the DPMMR family. Born on Thanksgiving Day in 2016, (November 24th), this bold calf is the son of Jessica and Alfonz. Identified by his triangular dorsal fin in the exact shape of his mother’s, as well as two large grey freckles on his lateral peduncle, Jett is a rambunctious and independent young male. He spends most of his time playing with his half-brother Tug and our subadult male, Isaac. Vocal and intelligent, Jett enjoys learning new interactive behaviors with our guests, with one of his favorite behaviors being the cradle!

"Jett is fearless! He is a lot braver than his mom, Jessica, would like, and does almost anything other than listen to his mom!"

- Brittany Poelma (Research Internship Coordinator)

Support A Dolphin

Tug

Tug

Tug was born to Dinghy and Alfonz on September 25th, 2016. When not spending quality time with his mother, Tug loves to play with the other youngsters in the lagoon. He is quickly learning interactive behaviors by watching older dolphins, such as his big sister B.B., and is always excited to get the answer correct!

"Out of every calf I’ve had the pleasure of working with, Tug takes the prize for the biggest heart. He is soft in nature and wants nothing more than to please. Tug loves toys and playtime, is socially diverse and his primary goal in life is to be ‘one of the boys.’"

- Luke Bullen (Assistant Director of Training)

Support A Dolphin