Coral World Ocean Park has a new addition to its family. Assistant Curator of Marine Mammals and Birds Kristine Tartaglio said, “We are excited to announce that Noelani gave birth to a beautiful female calf on Oct.10, 2022. Coki, as she is affectionately and appropriately named, has been growing rapidly. She has demonstrated a highly active interest in her surroundings and a strong sense of independence.”
Since her arrival, the dedicated staff at Coral World has monitored her growth and development. “Her mother, Noelani, is one of our original dolphins who came to us from Arizona when a facility there closed. Despite being blind, Noelani is doing an exceptional job of nurturing her calf and preparing her for independence. Although Coki will not be included in any public encounters or activities just yet, she enjoys interacting with her trainers,” said Tartaglio.
Dolphins live in complex social groups. Within pods, female dolphins assume various roles when a baby is born. General Curator Lee Kellar said, “A particularly important role is that of an auntie, another female who helps care for and protect the baby. Nola, one of our female dolphins, is enjoying the role of auntie. She is helping Coki with her integration into the social group here at Coral World as well as providing Noelani with some relief.”
Coki joins the six adult dolphins currently residing in Coral World’s Dolphin Sanctuary, which opened in April 2019. The sanctuary is 1.6 acres; therefore, Coki will have lots of room to explore.