A dolphin produces all of its sounds from its blowhole, not its mouth. Because they are air breathers living in the water, sleeping can pose a challenge. We are not sure how they sleep but we know they take small cat naps because they are conscious breathers.
Dolphins have long, sleek, blue-gray bodies with a dorsal fin atop their back, pectoral fins at their sides and two flukes at the end of the peduncle that makes up their paddle-shaped tail. They also have a beak, called a rostrum, protruding from the face with a blowhole at the top of the head.
Calypso has a dark area under along her chin, giving her the appearance that she has a beard. She has a small birthmark on her lower left side, and the tip of her rostrum is very light in color, making it look like she was dipped in light grey paint.
Calypso is the daughter of Kalei and Kimo, and the granddaughter of Nova. She is very spunky and curious. She has her mother's independence and her father's athleticism, and she's a fast learner.
Large tail flukes with jagged lagging edge; light coloration; long and slender; underbite; scars on peduncle (powerful muscle between dorsal fin and flukes) that look like Chinese writing (her namesake)
China is headstrong and enjoys high-energy behaviors like jumping and splashing. She is the mother of Indy and Orin, and she spends lots of time keeping her eye on Orin as he learns about life in the pod.
Coquina is dark grey with a very triangular dorsal fin. She has a small birthmark on the lower left side of her body.
Coquina joined our dolphin pod in 2019. She's Hemingway's half-sister and just as energetic. She loves to play with her trainers and her favorite enrichment item is a basketball.
Slender body; dark in color; bump on his chin; pointed tail flukes
The newest member of the pod, Hemingway spends the majority of his time with Orin, as young male dolphins create bachelor groups. Described as “brilliant,” Hemingway learns behaviors quickly from his trainers and fellow dolphins. He also enjoys keeping busy with enrichment items like hoops and Kong toys. He was named after the famous author Ernest Hemingway.
Curved "C-shaped" dorsal fin; large tail flukes with a chunk missing on her right side; light coloration; long and slender; underbite that matches her mother, China
Indy is very athletic and vocal. She is also coy and impulsive. A little mischievous, Indy is known to splash water at marine mammal staff or guests to get their attention. Indy is the daughter of China and Sundance and is half-sister to Jett and Orin.
Scar behind his blowhole; white scar at the base of the leading edge of his large dorsal fin; Jett has rippled markings on the sides of his body.
Jett is a typical teenage boy who acts a little crazy sometimes. He is an athletic dolphin and loves to play with balls. He is eager to learn new behaviors from marine mammal staff and fellow dolphin. Jett is always charged up and wants to be everywhere at one time. He has also formed a bond with Kimo and the two spend lots of time together.
Large in size (around 500 pounds); blunt rostrum with yellow/orange-ish color on the end; rounded/curved dorsal fin
Large and athletic, Kimo is the oldest male dolphin in our pod. Although he is more laid back in his relationships with other dolphins, he is motivated to do energetic behaviors when working with marine mammal staff. He is the father of Calypso.
Smallest member of our pod; see him near mom, Kalei.
Maui spends a lot of time learning from his mother, Kalei, and his grandmother, Nova. He is very independent and loves to explore his environment. He was named by Facebook fans after the demigod in Polynesian mythology.
Dark in color; scar above right eye; scar on the right side of her stomach; grey speckled belly; petite features (such as her tail flukes)
Nova is the matriarch of the pod, which means she is the most dominant. She is laid-back and patient with both dolphins and humans. She is food motivated and loves back and belly rubs during one-on-one time with her favorite people. She is the mother of Kalei.
Crescent shaped dorsal fin; inherited his mother's underbite.
Orin is curious and loves to eat ice. He is so enthusiastic about learning new things that he follows other dolphins around and copies their behaviors! He enjoys playing with Taz. Orin is the son of China and Jett and is half-brother to Indy. He was named after the Atlantean alter ego of DC Comics hero Aquaman.
Slender shape; yellowish sides and bottom on rostrum
Taz is independent and laid back. He was rescued off the coast of Florida in 2011 when he was an infant. He is very curious about the other dolphins and trainers, and he is best buds with Orin. He makes himself easy to find by whistling a lot.
Trooper is the smallest dolphin in the pod at only 8-months old. He has dark marks on his back from burns he suffered from the sun while on the beach. Once he's out in public view, you may see his tongue out -- he does that when he sleeps.
Estimated at four weeks of age at the time, Trooper was found stranded on a beach in May, 2020 near Holly Beach, Louisiana. He was rescued by the Texas Marine Mammal Stranding Network and nursed back to health. Deemed non-releasable, Trooper was brought to the Indianapolis Zoo and is thriving with his new pod. He truly lives up to his name.
You’ll be enthralled by these powerful and intelligent marine mammals while you learn more about health of the waters where dolphins live in the wild. Plus, you can find out what we can do here in Indiana to make their world a healthier place. The presentation features local families and the steps they take each day to avoid single-use plastics to help ensure healthy oceans free of plastic that put dolphins and other sea animals at risk.
Presentations are included with regular Zoo admission, but seating is limited and tickets are required. Pick up your tickets when you enter the Zoo. Pavilion doors open 30 minutes prior to each presentations and close 5 minutes before the presentation. Seating is first-come, first-served. Strollers must be parked in the designated area outside the Ascension St. Vincent Dolphin Pavilion. Guests with concerns about the security of strollers can consider renting a stroller.
Preventative health care is essential for humans and animals alike! Here at the Zoo, our veterinarians work year round to help keep our animals healthy. Help keep your family healthy with the support of care teams at Ascension St. Vincent.Learn More
Not only are dolphins amongst the world’s most intelligent animals, they are fantastic painters as well! A Dolphin Art Adventure takes participants behind the scenes where you will meet a dolphin up close and learn about some of the things that make this dolphin unique in our pod. The fantastic artwork the dolphin creates will be yours to take home!Learn More
Everyone has the power to help save wild things and wild places. That power is your individual voice, your awareness and your actions. So in addition to visiting the Zoo and meeting our animal ambassadors, here are a few simple suggestions that will help save their counterparts in the wild.
The Animal Amigo program helps care for all of the animals at the Zoo by funding food, medical treatment, equipment, enrichment toys, and habitat improvement for the animals in our care. For a donation of $100 or more, you can sponsor a dolphin at the Indianapolis Zoo. You will receive a plush, collector card, certificate and recognition on the Animal Amigo donor board!Learn More
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