Celebrating the conservation of a great treasure: The manatees

Celebrating the conservation of a great treasure: The manatees

manati

Dolphin Discovery and the National Day of the Manatee

What animal is this? Is it like a sea lion? Does it look like a dolphin? These are some of the dozens of questions we hear from our guests every day at Dolphin Discovery about the manatees. Sometimes they are called “sea cows” or “marine elephants”, we simply call them by their name, manatee.

Mexico, especially the state of Quintan Roo, should be proud to have this species in the region. It’s an animal that can weigh almost one tonne, it’s movements in the water are slow and it has no natural predator except, like many other species, human beings which are its largest threat. Their diet is exclusively vegetarian and they do not have visible teeth like the dolphin. Their need to breathe air at the surface of the water has led to hundreds of manatee deaths due to the impact of the propellers of boats and the dangers of fishing nets. Dolphin Discovery uses this as inspiration to celebrate the National Day of the Manatee every September 7 as a commemorative event and opportunity to educate the next generations about our work and to invite youth to make the manatees are a part of their lives too.

Thanks to the efforts of institutions like Colegio Frontera Sur and Dolphin Discovery, every year information about these marine mammals is shared with hundreds of people. The meeting occurs in Chetumal, the center of the celebrations of this important day. Dolphin Discovery Coordinator of Environmental Education Rosario Garcia and two of her team members travel to the state capital to work with the team of Dr. Benjamin Morales in providing two days of free activities. The Environmental Education team is coordinated by the subdirection of trainers group, Edgar Urbina, Manuel Garduño and Alex Mata which attends the most relevant national and international events related to the environment.


During the two days there are numerous delightful activities for children and adults; gifts, murals, direct  interaction with the biologists, creating art with recycled materials, an endless series of moments dedicated to inspiring the next generation of caregivers to our planet to conserve the species and create a consciousness about the use of natural resources.

The biggest threat to the manatee is the contamination of the natural lagoons, pollution is destroying the areas and the availability of food sources is diminishing because of human irresponsibility. Dolphin Discovery will not stand idly by, in our ten locations in Mexico we demonstrate to our guests the fragility of the species and the large quantity of waste and garbage that ends up in the ocean and lagoons.

The texture of a plastic bag underwater is almost the same as marine algae and the poor vision of the manatee does not allow it to distinguish between the two. This is just one of dozens of examples of why we need to care about how we live our daily lives.

Dolphin Discovery is home to 11 manatees, 4 of which were born in our installations and others that have been rescued as in the case of Robert. Only two days old and orphaned, he was brought to our Puerto Aventuras location where the Grupo Dolphin family of manatees along with trainers and veterinarians raised him. Now everyone can meet him in our natural lagoon.

In just two days of the events in Chetumal, 150 children participated in the educational programs of Dolphin Discovery on September 7, and a total of 420 children visited our Day of the Manatee displays which, without a doubt, will leave them with a grand impression of this animal and the importance of conservation.

Albert Einstein said “Setting an example is not the main means of influencing others, it is the only means.”

Dolphin Discovery 2010 Year in Review

Dolphin Discovery 2010 Year in Review

Happy Holidays from Dolphin Discovery!

It’s that time of year again, the season to join with family and friends and celebrate the holidays, reflect on the year past and look forward to what the new year will bring.  2010 was a busy year for Dolphin Discovery, new ventures, new friends and a whole lot of smiling faces.  Let’s have a look at some of the highlights of 2010…

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Cozumel Welcomes Sea Lions!

Dolphin Discovery Cozumel was thrilled to welcome sea lions into the family this  year, with their feisty characters and silly antics, the sea lion program is a delightful addition to Chankanaab Park.  Pingo and Karla make us laugh every day, and little baby Taco has a huge personality!

Taco the Baby Sea Lion

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Miss Caribbean World Pageant Tortola

Dolphin Discovery Tortola is a truly beautiful place, but the participants in the Miss Caribbean World Pageant made it gorgeous!  These lovely ladies from all over the Caribbean took time out of their busy schedule to join us for a swim with dolphins in Tortola, we thank them for their visit and offer congratulations once again to winner Marcia Baptiste of Dominica!

Miss Caribbean World 2010 in Tortola
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“Por la Libre” Open Water Race

Dolphin Discovery was pleased to be a sponsor of the 10 km open water swim race from Cancun to Isla Mujeres.  More than 500 international athletes hit the water in Cancun and made the ocean crossing to the finish line at Garrafon Park.  Seventeen year old Fernando Betanzos finished first, with an incredible time of 1 hour and 33 minutes!  Televisa Verde made this event extra special by donating 6000 mangrove plants to revitalize the Nichupte Lagoon.

Por la Libre 2010 Winner Fernando Betanzas
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Manatee Madness in Riviera Maya

Our little family of manatees in Puerto Aventuras had a fantastic 2010.  In June we had a big first birthday celebration for our rescued manatee “Robert”, with a fruit and vegetable birthday cake and a visit from local school children.  In September we welcomed the newest member of the manatee family as Julieta gave birth to a bouncing baby boy,  another success for our reproduction program!

New Mom Julieta and baby manatee
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Merlin the iPad Dolphin

One of the biggest news stories of the year was the release of the iPad and our smart-as-a-whip dolphin Merlin was one of the first to give the tablet a whirl and make his own headlines.  Researchers from “Speak Dolphin” introduced the touch-screen device to Merlin in an effort to bridge communications with our dolphin friends and learn more about these incredible creatures.  The fame has not gone to Merlin’s head, he is as down to earth (down to sea?) as he has always been, a vital part of our Riviera Maya crew.

Merlin the iPad Dolphin
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Dive with Dolphins Cozumel

Dolphin Discovery Cozumel introduced a unique new program this year, “Dive with Dolphins” invites our guests to join dolphins under the sea and discover a whole new way to play.  Chankanaab Park and Cozumel are paradise to scuba divers all over the world, what better way to explore the underwater home of the dolphins?  This was one of my personal highlights of the year, donning the mask and tank and playing with Titan near the ocean floor was a truly phenomenal experience.

Dive with Dolphins Cozumel
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Cruisers Delight, Dolphin Discovery Costa Maya

November 2010 we celebrated the grand opening of our newest dolphinarium in the cruise ship port of Costa Maya near the town of Mahahual.   Located about 400 kms south of Cancun, Costa Maya is a HOT destination for cruise ships!  Dolphin Discovery is excited about our new venture and we look forward to welcoming new friends from the cruising community in 2011 and the years to come.

Dolphin Discovery Costa Maya
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This is just a taste of some of the great experiences we’ve had at Dolphin Discovery this year, I could write all day about new births and visiting celebrities and the numerous charity and community events that we were honored to be a part of.  I would like to thank every member of the Dolphin Discovery team for all their hard work and smiles, let’s do it again next year!

To all of you, our guests, we thank you for making 2010 a special year and we wish you a happy and safe holiday season and a new year full of love, life, happiness and success.  Dolphin hugs and kisses to everyone, see you in 2011!

Costa Maya Tours-  Swim with Dolphins

Costa Maya Tours- Swim with Dolphins

Dolphin Discovery Costa Maya

Cruise ship travel is one of today’s hottest tickets, with millions of lucky people sailing the high seas every year.  Visiting tropical ports of call, sampling the culture, food and natural delights of paradise and discovering new experiences along the way, cruising opens up a world of adventure in the lap of luxury.

Dolphin Discovery has had the pleasure of welcoming thousands of cruisers to our Cozumel, Grand Cayman and Tortola dolphinariums and we’re thrilled to announce the opening of our newest location in the Mexican Caribbean port of Costa Maya.   Less than ten years ago, the tiny town of Mahahual was a simple fishing village, now it’s a thriving port of call with a world class pier and tourism complex.  The town has kept its charm and its beautiful beaches and views, working diligently towards sustainable tourism to allow people to enjoy the beauty of this remote village for years to come.  Dolphin Discovery is excited to be a part of the Costa Maya community and we look forward to meeting cruisers and travellers from around the world and introducing them to their new dolphin friends.

Costa Maya Tour Dolphin Discovery

Dolphin Discovery Costa Maya is located directly to the left of the cruise ship docks, our frolicking dolphins will be your first sight as you disembark.  We invite you to pull up a hammock or lounge chair, enjoy a cold drink and enjoy watching the dolphins play while you await your turn for the experience of a lifetime.  Our friendly staff will guide you through a short orientation before joining the dolphins in the water.  Get ready to fall in love!  In the Dolphin Swim Adventure, you’ll shake hands, sing a song, stroke the dolphin and go for an exciting belly ride!  The Dolphin Encounter is the ideal Costa Maya tour for the whole family, with a hug, handshake, a sing-along with dolphins and a great big kiss, it’s something the kids (and grandma and you) will remember forever.  After your swim with dolphins experience, you can enjoy all that the Costa Maya port has to offer, great restaurants, shopping and some glorious pools under the palm trees.

Costa Maya Port Complex

Big congratulations to our team on the grand opening, thanks for all your hard work in creating Dolphin Discovery Mahahual.  To cruisers and adventurists everywhere, we hope you’ll join us and make Dolphin Discovery your number one choice for your Costa Maya tour!

For more pictures, check out our Dolphin Discovery Costa Maya photos set on Flickr.

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