My Writings. My Thoughts.
Dolphin Discovery formed a human task force in the campaign to protect the blue crab. Written By Dolphin Discovery.
Cancun just like other parts of the Riviera Maya, is considered one of the areas with the highest urban growth in recent years worldwide. For more veterans who saw its inception 30 years ago, its wealth of natural areas was the main attraction and there was a feeling of respect between humans and animals sharing a common property such as land. Decades passed and the lucky tourist demand sees Cancun is developing before our eyes at a speed that Mother Nature cannot keep up with, new large residential lots, modification of mangrove systems are part of the long list of environmental impacts carried out on a small or large scale in our city. This has a name, fragmentation of ecosystems and the ability to stop it is almost impossible.
If everyone is so focused on urban development, who is going to take charge of the animals living in? That is why small actions make big changes, every year the campaign to protect the blue crab is celebrated on the 18th to 20th of October. Blue crabs have an important role in mangrove conservation as they make their nests in the roots of plants which provide oxygenation for the plants and are they are responsible for eating everything on the beaches and surrounding areas that are dead. During this time they cross streets, asphalt, bridges without understanding truck, traffic lights, pedestrian crossings in the search of salt water which lay their next offspring, as a result many of them being run over unconsciously citizens . The blue crabs live up to 8 years, to which an entire generation of the species is considered as being endangered in Quintana Roo.
Dolphin Discovery in collaboration with the Government of Quintana Roo, actively collaborate with the team at the Department of Environmental Education and Conservation, and dozens of trainers and associates joined the noble cause of saving the maximum amount possible (it is the females at the greatest risk). The task is to help cross the female crabs with thousands of offspring in his belly to a secure areas, working through the night with flashlights, moving the crabs carefully into buckets and leaving them where they are not at risk.
A total of 70 people from different departments led by Rosario Garcia, Biologist at Dolphin Discovery and coordinator of the department crossed more than a hundred females, armed pickers with lanterns, buckets, brooms worked at night in municipalities such as Isla Mujeres, Playa las Perlas, dolphin beach, areas where this species has chosen by the amount of beach. Helping the conservation of the species and consciousness of the public creates an awareness in our children, each year more people are joining this cause, even 10 year olds are accompanying their parents with flashlight in hand creating a clear conscience about the environment and this insures that the coming years will continue to have blue crabs spawning on our shores.
COZUMEL, Q. ROO October 2013
Dolphin Discovery as part of our social work and giving back to the community has the mission to teach environmental awareness in our communities about our dolphin, prioritizing our children.
The Department of Environmental Conservation Education and Dolphin Discovery has been given the task of visiting schools in our communities, offering free tours of Dolphin Discovery dolphinarium and invites children to have the wonderful experience of working with dolphins, manatees and sea lions.
The month of October 2013, Dolphin Discovery Cozumel was honored to receive to be visited by more than 400 children from different schools: Cristobal Colon, Gardner Institute and the Parthenon Institute, taking the record of school visit across all of our dolphinariums this month.
While visiting the dolphinarium children could learn more about these wonderful marine mammals and interact closely with them.
Dolphin Discovery as always is proud and happy to contribute to the environmental education of our children, in their hands is the present and future of our planet, its ecosystems and biodiversity.
Mexico City, October 2013
About 7 million people inhabit Planet Earth makes a real challenge to stay healthy and give us energy so we could move, eat, entertain and work and every day we want and need more!
The scarcity of fossil fuels and the consequences of carbon emissions without climate restrictions are fostering new ideas for energy. Given limited resources, humanity must take a new path towards sustainable development. The World Commission on Environment and Development, established by the United Nations in 1983 defined sustainable development as “development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations who have to meet their own needs.”
Working for sustainable development requires simultaneous progress in five dimensions: economic, human, environmental, institutional and technological. For each of these knowledge is required for looking after them. In the case of environmental issues there is much still to learn about our planet and to know even more about the biology and ethology of the species that inhabit it. At Dolphin Discovery we are confident that only through knowledge can we move towards achieving sustainable development, under the belief that “you cannot protect what you do not know, let alone love him.”
At Dolphin Discovery we deal for caring our ecosystems and educate people about it. So we are constantly looking for important ecological participate by attending events with the aim of spreading the importance of animal species and their environment, especially as wonderful species as those we find in our care: dolphins, sea lions and manatees.
In Mexico City, last October the 3rd Conference for Sustainability was held organized by University of Science Museum.
The day included a series of talks, demonstrations and workshops offered by various agencies highlighting: UNAM Faculty of Science, Institute of Biology, the General Disclosure UNAM Science and Dolphin Discovery.It is in this context that Dolphin Discovery joins the national effort to participate in this important scientific forum for dissemination of high university.
Dolphin Discovery Six Flags Mexico participated in the series of talks from the 25th to the 27th October 2013. The event took place in the auditorium of R3 (Recycle, Reduce and Reuse) in the university, the talks focused on animal care and we gave a presentation of our educational program led by the Department of Environmental and Conservation Education.
Talks caused a buzz and interest from the public. The forum of Friday 25 was intended for schools, we have the participation of 60 students from CCH and Bachelors. Exposure started talking about the history of Dolphin Discovery, with few dolphin species and about the ones we have in our care. This day was the turn of the Antillean Manatee or Caribbean Manatee (Trichechus manatus) to speak. They shared their Manatee Project with the group in which Dolphin Discovery is proud to participate, through our Deputy Director of Veterinary Medicine, Dr. Roberto Sánchez Okrucky who is the Subcommittee technical advisor of the project “Conservation, restoration and management of manatee Mexico “since 1999.
We begin the story of our rescue manatees Romeo and Juliet in 2001, two beautiful manatees were found in Jonuta Lagoon, Veracruz. The state government Dolphin Discovery awarded us the care and custody of these precious specimens, which inhabit the dolphinarium located in Puerto Aventuras. From that year we began to work towards the rescue of this wonderful species that is endangered.
With Romeo and Juliet begins our successful breeding program Manties. The August 22, 2005 born in Puerto Aventuras first breeding Juliet Yotlzin in Nahuatl means “small heart”, followed Quixote (March 2008) and Edgar (September 2010).Saturday and Sunday in Universum was completely familiar. This time we take to publicize the work as a Socially Responsible Company we conducted through the Department of Environmental Education and Conservation.
Our department, in different locations, has made great achievements. Priority: Environmental Education for the children of our communities. With this program we had the opportunity to interact with parents and children between 7 and 12 years, who at the end of the talk involving us how excited they were to have learned more about marine mammals. We did not lose the opportunity to show the video with the message of conservation; this time we showed how easy it is to put litter in its place, reminding them that this is the only way we can help our planet. Who better to demonstrate then our Sea Wolves: Lola and Kenya.
These talks ended our participation in the 3rd Day of sustainability at the University. We made it clear that the conservation of the species and its environment should be a priority for the new generations. Dolphin Discovery Group is proud to participate in various forums and environmental events in schools with a strong purpose: the care and conservation of marine mammals.
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.”
On October 31, November 1st and 2nd 2013 the Department of Environmental and Conservation Education convened the Dolphin Discovery Contest 1st Day of the Dead AltarsProud of our traditions, we create our offerings re-using waste materials respecting the origin of our tradition.
For the preparation of the offering, all of which reflect the life and death duality, made with 70% reused materials and respecting the symbolism of the Mexican tradition being completely original and creativity were used.
The theme: “OFFERING A GAIA” Gaia is, according to Greek mythology, Mother Earth. The Gaia hypothesis is a set of scientific models of the biosphere in which posits that life fosters and maintains suitable conditions for itself conditions affecting the environment, EVERYTHING IS A CYCLE. In many ways, Gaia reminds us of our connection to the land and with all creation, the earth provides sustenance to all living things that inhabit it.In recent years, a movement has sprung back to nature and awareness of the importance of the environment. Maybe it’s the spirit of Gaia, which again is it trying to connect with their errant children.
All of our Dolphin discovery locations participated with great enthusiasm and offerings the winner was Puerto Aventuras, who made figures of dolphin skulls made from recycled paper and plastic cans artfully decorated clothed this wonderful offering.
Dolphin Discovery department appreciates the enthusiasm and creativity of all coaches to participate in this great celebration proudly Mexican.
Every year Dolphin Discovery attends the IMATA conference, an international event for marine mammal trainers where close to 700 people from all over the world share their outstanding work and experiences in various fields: research, medical care, education, training and technology.
Dolphin Discovery is the only Mexican company to have won awards in all categories in their 18 years of operation due to their strong investment and commitment to not only dolphins but manatees, sea lions and other species that live in their 13 world-wide locations.
In September, as the only representative of Mexico at the exhibition, Dolphin Discovery had the pleasure of presenting their work of investigation and training of our manatees which we hope will assist in detecting the age of the animals that appear on the coasts of Quintana Roo each year through a study of the molars of these marine mammals. Employing endoscopic techniques in collaboration with dentists, it is now possible to visualize the development of the teeth of the manatees and predict when they will fall out. (Edgar Urbina, Roberto Sanchez DVM ,Manuel Garduño, Alejandro Mata*, Silvia Becerra*, Alberto Poot, Juan Menez, Felix Osorio, Shelley Wood).
This study could be a great advance in the conservation of the specias, each years dozens of manatees are stranded, their age unknown and the cause of their being stranded on the beach. Determining age by the wear on the molars will be a great help in understanding even better the behaviour of these mammals. This is not the first investigative work with manatees by Dolphin Discovery, in 2009 we received first prize in training for being the first company in the world to work on the mental stimulation of these animals, demonstrating that their learning ability was comparable to any other marine mammal. In 2010, for the first time we were able to take samples and hydrate the manatees stomach voluntarily in a pioneering cooperation between animal and trainer. Dolphin Discovery has collaborated on numerous occasions with the network of organizations rescuing stranded manatees and in 2010 received 2 international awards for conservation and education for saving the life of Robert, a stranded manatee only 1 day old who now lives day to day in the Dreams Puerto Aventuras location for all to meet, along with Yoltzin, the first manatee born in Dolphin Discovery and the second in Mexico in 2007.
Dolphin Discovery rescues a dolphin in a critical state off the coast of Cancun, after one month of medical care she is returned to the sea
August 12, 2013 at 2 a.m., the Dolphin Discovery team received a call from the authorities at the Federal Environmental Protection Agency (PROFEPA) about a dolphin on the rocks of a beach in Cancun in a very weak state, yet still alive. The fire department’s rescue team got the dolphin off the rocks and onto a stretcher until professional assistance could arrive.
The Grupo Dolphin veterinary team led by Dr. Roberto Sanchez Okrucky and the trainers under the direction of Edgar Urbina arrived in the middle of the night to help the animal that was in a critical state. The dolphin was a female around 15 years old of the species steno bredanensis, not very common in our experience, that passes through the Cancun waters and hunts. In a joint decision with the authorities, it was decided to transfer the female to the Turtle Farm on Isla Mujeres using the Grupo Dolphin boats.
The possibility of placing the rescued dolphin with those located in Dolphin Discovery Isla Mujeres was almost zero, the rescue protocols are very strict and there was a good chance of Steno having a viral illness or being contagious. The risk of zoonosis and infection of the 22 dolphins in Isla Mujeres was too high.
The Turtle Farm has functioned as a quarantine location in the past, with a large area and quick access for the veterinarians and trainers, respecting the natural environment of the animals. The first moments of the dolphin’s arrival were not good, she sank, barely breathing, she rolled on her side and required human assistance to swim. Thanks to the medical team and intense treatments in her first hours of rescue, she was able to stabilize and swim on her own, though very slowly.
The following 10 days were full of constant medical testing. Ultrasounds, daily blood samples, stomach content analysis, respiratory cultures, parasitology, all possible human and economic effort to determine the cause of the dolphin’s stranding. Her appetite for fish was good and the trainers and veterinarians cared for her 24 hours a day in a protective manner, without entering the water so she would not get accustomed to a human presence.
It was determined that she was suffering from acute hepatic cirrhosis, the liver was badly damaged. Her diet was modified to soft solids, mostly squid which has a high water content and capelin which contains water and fiber. Eliminating fats from her diet was the first step in her treatment and recuperation from her disease.
After 20 days her behaviors returned to almost normal, her swimming speed increased with more strength, her breathing became slower and stronger…we were beginning to see a light in the journey. Finally, after one month of treatment and constant communication with PROFEPA regarding the status of her health, a joint decision was made that she was ready to be liberated to continue her natural course.
From the first day, the intentions of Dolphin Discovery and PROFEPA were to rehabilitate and liberate this dolphin, it was not the first time both institutions have worked together and we will continue to do so for the well-being of the animals. On some occasions the rescued animals are not candidates to be returned to the wild because of their critical state or there is nowhere to free them, as in the case of the one day old manatee rescued in 2009 who was rehabilitated and relocated to a natural environment in Dolphin Discovery Puerto Aventuras where it is thriving along with 6 other manatees without a problem.
The case of Steno the dolphin’s recovery is rare, the majority of beached dolphins are found dead or close to it, being dragged along the coast by the currents. That was not the case this time as our friend had the good fortune to be aided by a professional human team with 18 years of experience in veterinary medicine and training of marine mammals, she was given a second chance at life.
CANCUN, QUINTANA ROO 22nd October 2013
Trash is “fashionable” on our planet, unfortunate but true. In our country at least 16 Mexican beaches are highly contaminated, according to The Federal Attorney for Environmental Protection (PROFEPA). The most polluted beaches in Mexico are in Del Pueblo, La Ropa and Las Gatas in Zihuatanejo Bay.PROFEPA indicates that fecal waste, sewage, garbage and industrial waste pollute the beaches of the Mexican Republic. The beach pollution is serious because in addition to affect us, many marine species are being pushed to extinction. Species such as the sea turtle, leatherback turtle, seaweed species and marine mammals such as whales and sea porpoise among others are being affected.
Mexico is a privileged country for its great biodiversity and its waters are home to nearly half of all species of cetaceans in the world. In addition many of these species have chosen our shores to mate and bear their young each year.
At Dolphin Discovery we are aware of the growing problem on the dirty beaches of our country, because of this Dolphin Discovery with Moon Palace Foundation volunteers meet constantly and join forces to clean up beach communities.This time it was the turn of Moon Beach Palace Complex, the date was October 22 starting at 8:00 am cleaning to the northern part of the Sunrise Hotel.
Gathering all the necessary materials: latex gloves and giant garbage bags, the volunteers walked along the beach picking up all the trash that was disregarded on the beach area around to the hotel.
The garbage collected was placed in garbage bags, a total of 10 bags of about 20-25 kg each were pooled. Later each bag was sorted separating the recyclables between PET plastic (water bottles, soda, etc), hard plastic (juice containers, detergent, milk and soap), glass, Styrofoam trash and debris, the list is endless.The majority of the trash found was hard plastic, although we were surprised by the high amount of bottle caps found.
Dolphin Discovery is always happy and proud to be involved with leading by example in these events and we are determined to raise environmental awareness, especially in our children about the importance of keeping our beaches clean. Using the Rule 3 Rs: Reduce, Recycle and Reuse is a simple way to help our environment, protecting our biodiversity and us.We will continue with this work, there are still many beaches that need our help. You can make a difference … join forces with us and this worthwhile cause!!!