Panama learning her new dorsal tow behavior.

Panama, CMA’s oldest resident dolphin and Winter’s surrogate mother, is in the beginning stages of learning her new dorsal tow behavior. Despite the newness, she has been progressing quickly!

Currently, Talia and Tiffany are working on this behavior with her in the hopes that one day we can have a deep water program with guests. They began by first working on her run. During this first phase, Panama was quickly guided from the wade to encounter platform by using a target pole. The target pole easily communicates to Panama the exact direction and speed at which we wish her to move. The next phase will be adding the sd, or hand signal. Eventually the end goal will be to give Panama the sd and she tows the guest and takes them on a ride around main pool and back!

Keep an eye out in the Winter Zone to see Panama’s progression!

A photo of Nicholas playing with his new device!

This past year, CMA’s training staff has been working closely with entrepreneurs Don and Cindy Lang, who create environmental enrichment devices for marine mammals. We received our first device from the Langs, a bubble machine for Winter, Panama, and Hope, at the beginning of this year. We are pleased to announce that our second device is finally here!

This device is for Nicholas, CMA’s only male dolphin. It works like the game “Simon Says”; the device is capable of playing different music note sequences, and each music note corresponds to a different light. The trainer plays a sequence and Nicholas has to repeat the sequence by using paddles in his water. Each paddle represents a different note, and when he gets the sequence correct, he is rewarded. The device is designed to tap into Nicholas’s cognitive and creative abilities. Come up to Dolphin Terrace at CMA to see it in action!