Dolphins seem to love life wherever they are. If I were a dolphin and had to live in captivity, I’d live at Anthony’s Key Resort in the waters off Roatan Island, Honduras. I was fortunate enough to spend a week in January 2010 with Kathleen Dudzinski, Wu-Jung Lee and 24 bottlenose dolphins at Bailey’s Key, the dolphins’ private reserve.
Kathleen Dudzinski has been filming and recording these 24 bottlenose dolphins for the last eight years. Wu-Jung Lee, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, is getting her PhD at MIT exploring the use of broadband sonar signals by both dolphins & humans. Kathleen’s website www.dolphincommunicationproject.org can show you a daily detailed report with photographs of our work in January. In other parts of the world she is also studying 2 other groups of bottlenose dolphins in the wild as well as one other group in captivity.
Bailey’s Key has a 2 acre holding area with netting that big fish and tidal current can easily move through. It’s up to 15 feet deep with live coral, sea grass and a sandy beach for the group of 24 males, females & 2nd generation calves. Some of the dolphins are let out to go swim with divers that are staying at the resort but these dolphins return to their group in the 2 acre holding area for the free fish. Separate from Bailey’s Key is Anthony’s Key with resort rooms over the water on stilts and Roatan Island with the Roatan Institute for Marine Sciences, Roatan Museum, dining rooms and dive shop.
Each morning at 5:30 the 3 of us would meet outside our individual bungalows that were over the water & take the water taxi, a 20′ open boat with a 15 HP engine, from Anthony’s Key to Bailey’s Key. We were all alone with the dolphins since the trainers don’t come to feed until 9AM.