Toothbrush time at the Aquarium! Like humans, dolphins need to have their teeth cleaned regularly.
Dolphins, arguably the Aquarium’s most popular and high profile animals, have some of the most demanding care requirements. Dolphin Bay Animal Care staff continued to provide exceptional care according to the best practices for dolphins in aquariums and zoos, offering an environment for these intelligent animals to thrive. Staff also assessed overall wellness of the animals by evaluating all aspects of their life— environment, nutrition, health, behavior, choice, and control—along with continuing to provide training opportunities for these animals to voluntarily participate in their own medical care. Animals were continually introduced to new enrichment, or changes to their environment, designed to encourage natural behavior. In one enrichment program, algae that grows in the dolphins’ pool was collected by staff, prepped in the Commissary, and fed to sea turtles in the Aquarium’s collection and at the Wildlife Rescue Center. This provided a natural, nutritious meal to the turtles while stimulating their foraging instincts. Animals were also frequently taken on a “tour” of the Aquarium to see other animal residents who they would never see in their natural habitat. This activity creates a mentally engaging opportunity for both animals. Led by Senior Vice President and COO Jesse Gilbert and Animal Wellness Coordinator Catherine Razal, a wellness tool was developed to track animal behavior, nutrition, and other aspects of the animals’ day-to-day lives. Through this newwellness tool, data collected via specialized reports, video monitoring, and other methods is continually analyzed for the purpose of expanding wellness standards to create the best possible life for each of the Aquarium’s animals.
Aquarium staff preparing algae diet for sea turtles
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