GULFPORT, Miss. (WLOX) - Each March, our favorite cetaceans are recognized. Dolphins Awareness Month is celebrated to help protect and conserve the well-being of the mammals.
It’s something that the Institute For Marine Mammals Studies strives to do.
“One of our main goals is to make sure they are active as possible,” said Heath Crawford, IMMS animal care supervisor. “They have plenty of enrichment.”
Fins were up Sunday at IMMS as dolphins received endless attention and love from guest and staff. Turner and Apollo are both rescued dolphins with quite interesting stories.
Both dolphins were stranded in the wild at young ages, and neither were old enough to even hunt for food, swimming their way into a tough situation to survive.
“Turner was actually stranded with the umbilical cord still attached, so he’s very young,” Crawford said. “Apollo is deaf, so when it comes to training, it is different. But the same way, the government decided that being able to be out in the ocean could very difficult.”
That’s when the Institute for Marine Mammal Studies stepped in, granting the two with a forever home.
“Apollo has been here nine years and Turner has been here three years,” Crawford said.
If the two dolphins had not been rescued, they wouldn’t be as active as they are now, giving countless hugs and kisses to staff and guests.
“Worst case scenario, unfortunately both of them could be a very bad situation,” said Crawford. “One doesn’t has his mother and doesn’t know how to fish and can’t find milk. When it comes to the other one who’s deaf, may not be able to hear predators when they come by.”