Spotlight On 'Betts' the dolphin

Tue, 01 Nov 2016

By Eco Ranger Sue

Spotlight On 'Betts' With Sue Hassard 

We thought it was time we caught up with one of the newer dolphin visitors Betts, a male dolphin calf whose ancestry stems right back to the first hand fed dolphin at Tangalooma ‘Beauty’. 

We took five with Eco Ranger Sue to catch up on ‘Betts’ development, and to see what’s in store for the little guys 2nd Birthday in November!

Tell us about Betts..

Betts is one of our most recent male dolphin visitors, born in November of 2014. He's a very mischievous, cheeky and inquisitive dolphin and is Silhouettes 2nd born calf. A lot of the Dolphin Care Team members are really excited to celebrate Betts second birthday in November, as he's not only a crowd favourite but a favourite amongst our team as well! 

How is Betts developing? Is he now part of the nightly dolphin feeding programme? 

As Betts is still dependent on his mother, he is not being hand feed just yet. When he begins displaying signs of being independent of his mother for food, (not suckling anymore) he is hunting and catching fish for himself, then we will begin considering his involvement in the nightly dolphin feeding programme. It is very important that we let him develop the life skills he will need to survive in the wild naturally. 

He's a very mischievous, cheeky and inquisitive dolphin and is Silhouettes 2nd born calf

And has Betts been developing any of those wild hunting skills yet?

He is definitely developing his hunting skills and staff often observe him hunting and catching small bait fish before and after the feed.  We believe Betts will be a very active and efficient hunter,  just like his mother, and it is great to watch  Silhouette teaching Betts her incredible  hunting techniques that he needs to develop as a wild dolphin as we only feed the dolphins a very small amount of their daily intake (10-20%). 

So the Dolphin Care Team continually monitor Betts' development. How important is that to the Wild Dolphin Feeding Programme at Tangalooma ongoing? 

Since the Wild Dolphin Feeding Program started in 1992, the program has grown and evolved over the years and is still recognised as the worlds best dolphin feeding program by leading authorities. This is due to the dedication/commitment of our long term staff members who oversee the program to ensure it operates according to our strict procedures/policies, is well organised and is sustainable and is not detrimental to the dolphins in any way. Our commitment towards ensuring the dolphins wellbeing is of primary consideration allows us to welcome independent wild bottlenose dolphins to our Resort for the nightly feeding programme. 

What do you love about Betts most?

We all love Betts because he holds that special place in our hearts through his connection with our first dolphin visitor 'Beauty'. On top of all that, his cheeky and excitable personality is always a delight to watch at the nightly dolphin feed.

Learn more about the Tangalooma dolphin family

About the author

Eco Ranger Sue

For most of us, feeding a wild dolphin is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, but for Sue Hassard, the Dolphin Care Manager at Tangalooma Island Resort, preparing dinner and feeding bottlenose dolphins is part of her every working day.

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