When we were leaving Key west on Wednesday, we were half way out off the Keys, and Deb says, "hey, why don't we tour the Dolphin Research Center!" We all said, "hey, why not!"
Now this is one real neat spot... How many people out there in Blogville remember back years ago to a TV program called "Flipper"... come on, it was one of my favourites! Well, that show was filmed at this location in the Keys! It is now a full Reseach Center that employs about 100 people.
This is a not for profit Organization, that provides a home for many marine animals that need one. We are talking sea lions and dolphins that have been rescued and cannot be returned to the wild.
We ended up spending over 2 hours here in the afternoon, and really enjoyed our experience.
Deb and Gerard posed for the necessary blog shots by the waterfall.
There were quite a few iguanas on the property... they just happened to come by this location, and liked it, so they all stay! Why not!
This is one of the 3 Sea Lions that call this place home now... This place provides a very loving home to all these animals, and they are very well kept.
Some how they also ended up caring for about 5 of these different birds... they outlived their owners!
They offer the full dolphin experience to the public here. These dolphins have been very well trained, and love to interact with people. They are having a splashing contest above with the boys... that is the trainer standing on the dock.
They have about 15 or so Dolphins that live here... they all have names, and a different story. A lot of them were born on the property. They are very interactive with the public and want to show off for you.
Of course, Dolphins know how to jump!
... and jump!
There are about 10 different ponds that they live in, and the public can walk along the area above to view. You also get to see them doing research and training with the Dolphins.
This is one of the ponds, and these people are getting ready to swim with the dolphins.
There are many different programs available to the public to get to spend with the dolphins. For about $600.00 you can be a researcher for the day, and spend the whole day working on the facility with the animals.
It is nice here, as it was not nearly over crowded with people, and you got to spend a lot of time watching and talking with the Staff, who had all day to answer your questions.... nice way to spend a few hours.
Don't worry, there is still more to get caught up about Key West.