In anticipation of Hurricane Irma’s landfall in Florida, five Atlantic Bottlenose Dolphins were transported from Dolphin Connection, a marine mammal organization owned by Hawks Cay Resort in Duck Key to SeaWorld Orlando. Four team members from Dolphin Connection traveled with the dolphins and are caring for them at SeaWorld’s behind the scenes area.
Dolphin Connection is a renowned marine life educational facility with interactive dolphin conservation programs. The institution is accredited by the Alliance of Marine Mammal Parks and Aquariums (AMMPA) and the International Marine Animal Trainer’s Association (IMATA).
The decision to conduct an emergency evacuation of the Dolphin Connection animals was made as a result of Hurricane Irma’s current projection and anticipated impact on the Florida Keys. Each year, marine life institutions across the state convene to evaluate emergency plans and procedures for severe weather situations like this.
The five male dolphins range in age from 13 to 43 years old and are expected to stay at SeaWorld Orlando until they can be safely returned to their home in the Florida Keys. Staff members from Dolphin Connection are staying in the Orlando area to monitor the animals during the storm.
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