Cancún, Quintana Roo.- The hurricane Irma, category 5, that hit severely the islands of the Caribbean last month, found on its way 4 of the Dolphin Discovery habitats: Saint Kitts, Anguilla, Tortola, and Punta Cana. In the first and last island, there were no mayor damages and they are already working on fixing them. Unfortunately, the same did not happen with Anguilla and Tortola since the premises suffered considerable damage. Due to the trajectory and the imminent impact, the evacuation of species protocol was activated 96 hours before the hurricane got closer.
During this stage, the Marine Mammal Specialists made sure they had everything they needed for the wellbeing of the specimens (enough fish, a refuge ready for the staff and the dolphins, and the necessary equipment to be able to safeguard the welfare of the specimens, such as a power plant, fuel, etc.).
48 hours before the arrival of the hurricane in Tortola, the support team from Dolphin Discovery Corporative offices, led by the Director of Marine Mammals Specialists as well as the Director of Veterinary Medicine, Roberto Sánchez, carried out the transportation of the specimens to the first refuge, which is a place protected from the floods and contamination. Here the specimens were under the watch of the specialists at all times.
When the hurricane passed, the specimens and all the staff were in perfect conditions. Unfortunately, their habitat, as well as the entire island, suffered damages in the structure. After the local authorities confirmed the good state of health of the specimens and gave the corresponding permits, the team implemented a relocation plan.
With the authorization of the authorities of Jamaica and Dominican Republic, the specimens were taken by plane to other habitats. Five arrived at the Dolphin Discovery habitat in Punta Cana and 10 to the habitat in Jamaica. All of them arrived in an excellent state of health as they remain until today.
In the case of the personnel whose houses suffered damages, were relocated in other islands where there are Dolphin Discovery habitats. They offered them refuge and food until they could return to their homes.
"Dolphin Discovery affirms its support and compromise not only to the dolphins, but to the employees and the community of Anguilla and Tortola as well. We have to support them during this time when they need us the most" said Mr. Eduardo Albor Villanueva, CEO of Dolphin Discovery Group.
October 2nd, 2017