Castaway was introduced to her new roommates, Sarah and Samantha (both adult females), on July 30, 2007. They spent a few days getting to know each other, and things are going exceptionally well! Lucky for Castaway, her current trainers are the same individuals who worked with her at MMC. This provides her with lots of comfort, as she has become quite attached to her human caretakers. At MMC, Castaway was accustomed to frequent “socials”, so the Dolphins Plus trainers swim with her everyday. She loves to play with her human toys almost as much as they love and adore her! Some of her favorite things to do include surfing off humans swimming in her lagoon, diving under water with her human toys and swimming belly-to-belly, and playing with her rubber ducky and rings.
Castaway is only the second known case of a deaf dolphin in a managed care facility. Therefore, this is a new frontier for everyone involved! Due to Castaway’s inability to hear, husbandry training continues to be challenging. In order to communicate with her, Castaway’s trainers have developed a variety of innovative techniques, and they plan to present their training research and discoveries at the 2008 IMATA conference.
All in all, our big, happy family just got bigger! We are excited beyond words to have Castaway join our salty home. She has been welcomed with open arms, plenty of TLC, and lots of fish, of course!
For more information about Castaway and her story, visit www.marinemammalconservancy.org.