Meet our dolphins

  • 21 June 2012 | Paul Zammit

Gambit with his frisbee

GAMBIT is believed to be the largest bottlenose dolphin in any oceanarium in the world. His average weight is around 490kg and he is 3.65m long. He is father to seven of the nine dolphins born at uShaka Sea World and grandfather to one. He is a true ocean ambassador and has, since 1976, helped us share a message of conservation in a way that no human could. He has an energy and presence that is remarkable.

FACT: Tursiops truncates, Atlantic bottlenose dolphins are the largest dolphins found off the Southern African coastline.

Frodo

 

FRODO is the only Indian Ocean bottlenose dolphin at uShaka Sea World and has had six babies at uShaka Sea World. She is the best mother any baby dolphin could wish for as she always keeps a watchful eye while allowing her calf to explore, learn and gain confidence. She has freckles on her tummy which make her easy to spot.

FACT: Female dolphins naturally form a group and help each other during and after birth to raise and protect the young.

Khethiwe

KHETHIWE is the youngest dolphin at uShaka Sea World. She was born on 25 November 2008. She is learning very quickly and loves to play. Her favourite activity at the moment is to stick her tongue out at people who walk past and her favourite toy is a blue-and-white basketball.

FACT: Baby dolphins are born with whiskers on either side of their rostrum (snout) which help them to swim in their mother's slipstream.

Kelpie

 

KELPIE is the first-born dolphin at uShaka Sea World. He is well known for mimicking one of our safety alarms. She always lets the trainers know that it is training time by singing to them.

FACT: Dolphins breathe through blowholes located on the tops of their heads. A small flap opens and closes to allow them to breathe. 

Khwezi

 

 

KHWEZI is a very excitable dolphin. He loves to get things right in training and loves to show off. He is very gentle with the trainers yet is sure to demonstrate his dominance by breaching when interacting with the male dolphins in his group.

FACT:  Breaching is a natural behavior demonstrated by dolphins and whales. It involves leaping out of the water and landing hard on a part of their body. This behavior is used in communication, to herd fish, and to get rid of an itch.

Ingelosi

 

 

INGELOSI is the youngest male at uShaka Sea World, born on 22 May 2004. He has a gentle and trusting nature and lives with three older males. He often gets up to mischief with his older brother Khwezi and is known to enthusiastically swim off to show the trainers something his brothers have taught him. 

FACT: Dolphins use mimicry as a learning tool especially when they are young. 

Tombi

 

TOMBI is the oldest in the female group and her birthday is 23 May 1993. She is a perfectionist and likes to put extra effort into her training sessions.

FACT: Dolphins are known to work together as a team to herd and catch fish such as sardines.

Khanya

 

 

KHANYA is a granddaughter at uShaka Sea World as her mother and father were both born here. Khanya loves solo attention and is always interested in what the trainers are doing, even when they are scrubbing the pools or eating their lunch. Tombi and Khanya are inseparable.

FACT: Dolphins naturally have a hierarchy in their pods to maintain stability and to work as a team. 

Affrika

 

AFFRIKA is the only pure-bred female Atlantic Ocean bottlenose dolphin. A marking that is specific to this sub-species is the dark stripe down her back. She loves her toys and doesn’t like to share them.

FACT: Dolphins have been seen in the wild playing with objects like long pieces of kelp and taking sponge from the reef to forage for fish hidden under the sand.

Zulu

 

ZULU is a very energetic dolphin and her enthusiasm never wanes. She loves to learn and is quick to pick up new things, which keeps the trainers on their toes.

FACT: All the behaviours that you see in our shows are natural behaviours or extensions of natural behaviours. Dolphins naturally spyhop to see their surroundings and jump naturally, so we ask them to jump over a water spray.

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