Dolphin Quest Hawaii – Night Watch for Expecting Dolphin Mom

Aloha everyone my name is Erica and I’m
a Marine Mammal Specialist here at Dolphin Quest Hawaii located at the
magnificent Hilton Waikoloa Village and you’re watching a night in the life of a
Marine Mammal Specialist. Tonight you’ll be joining us to get a glimpse firsthand
at another part of the incredible prenatal care that we’re able to offer
Kona here at Dolphin Quest Hawaii. Tonight marks our first night of
overnight observations where we’ll have staff on-site all evening to make sure
that we’re here to catch the very moment that that little one makes its way into
the world. As our daytime staff is winding down and getting ready to go
home for the evening our nighttime crew is coming in which includes me and a few
others to make sure that we can have eyes on this lovely lady as she gets her
rest for the evening and so we can be here to catch the moment that that baby
emerges. Let’s head on over and take a look at the lagoon before the sun starts
to go down. The lights are set the docks are prepped
and Kona is hanging out with her daughter Hali’a in the lagoon for the
evening. Over the years Kona has inspired guests from all over the world to care
about and help protect marine mammals and our oceans while I get ready for our
overnight shift take a look at these lucky guests meeting Kona for the first
time and getting to feel her baby kick. And so Kona’s actually expecting and so she is due any moment. Wow.Yeah. I can feel something. Yeah. You’re dancing with a Kona! What are the ways that you can help by
things that you do every day in your life to help out animals in the ocean?
Use less plastic, recycle more. Aloha everyone
we are officially under way with our overnight calf watch in anticipation of
the delivery of Kona’s calf you’ll notice behind me that our lagoon is brightly
lit up so that we can observe her overnight and we’re taking detailed
observational records on her behavior throughout the night so that as she
starts to get closer to labor and delivery we’re well aware and ready for
that moment. We’ll be watching for Kona doing any spinning any tail standing
giving herself back rubs or belly rubs on anything in her environment and also
and most importantly looking for any arching or crunching as those larger
contractile events start to take place. As the delivery of the baby gets a
little bit closer these behaviors will start to increase in duration and in
frequency and that’ll be a huge indicator to us that the baby is on the
way. Why don’t we head down to the docks and take a look at what’s going on. Sara, is there a baby yet? Not yet. At this
point during our overnight calf watch we’re mostly watching Kona take her rest
for the evening. Did you know dolphins utilize a process
called unihemispheric slow wave sleep to get their rest throughout the evening. What
this means is that they’re only going to rest one hemisphere of their brain at a
time with the other hemisphere being active and awake so that they can still
be swimming, surfacing to take those breaths and watching out for predators
or baby or whoever else might be in their social group. If you watch long
enough you might even get lucky enough to see that corresponding eye close to
the hemisphere of the brain that’s resting at that current point in time so
these guys are literally sleeping with one eye open. We’re out by the lagoon with Kona it’s
5:00 a.m. morale is high energy drink supplies are low we’re in the
homestretch tonight. As we continue with our shifts here through the night a great
pick-me-up comes during our morning fish prep where we’re gonna sort every single
fish that all of our dolphins eat throughout the day today it’s just gonna
start a little earlier than normal you’ll get a glimpse of that firsthand
as you get ready to prepare all of our fish for the day. With our daily fish
prep complete and the sun starting to rise here over Dolphin Quest Hawaii
it’ll only be a few hours until our daytime staff starts to roll in to take
over the watch on Kona and we will go home for some much-needed
rest we’re excited to see over the next few days how Kona will progress and
we’re even more excited to welcome the new addition to our Ohana here at
Dolphin quest Hawaii. Aloha. Sarah, is there is their baby yet? Not yet. Katie is there a baby yet? No, not yet.

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