NASSAU, BAHAMAS- Full of life, energetic, and healthy, baby Duchess, an Atlantic bottlenose dolphin was born on Blue Lagoon Island just a few months ago to her 52-year-old mother, Princess.
According to Blue Lagoon Island public relations manager, Jessica Robertson, princess is one of the oldest known dolphins under human care worldwide.
After months of constant monitoring, Duchess has officially been welcomed to the Dolphin Encounters family. According to blue lagoon islands zoological director, George Rodgers, Duchess is perfectly formed.
“They begin to learn to swim, to become more independent, and then they begin to experiment like children when they begin to walk. They’re clumsy at first. They flip around. But they enjoy it. So, they start jumping more and more and as I say, they have the adults as an example to copy from. It doesn’t take long before they perfect the technique,” Rodgers said.
Rodgers said baby dolphins are very similar to human babies and are not born with survival skills, so they depend heavily on learning from their mother. He said Duchess is already interacting with fish thrown her way, and flopping out of the water.
“Duchess is coming along really quickly as a result of her mother’s experience. She will continue to nurse from her mother for quite sometime,” Rodgers said.
Blue Lagoon dolphins have a “pampered lifestyle” said Rodgers; with a preventative medicine program, the best quality food and unique diets to fit each dolphin’s needs and tastes.
He said that their facility is analyzed frequently by the American Humane Conservation Program.
“They inspect us, and we have to satisfy them that our animals have the best possible care [and] that they come first in everything we do,” Rodgers explained.
“They’re completely independent. They are only interested in animals’ welfare. And yes, we were the first in The Bahamas and we’re amongst the handful of zoological facilities at the moment worldwide that do have this accreditation.”