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   A Guide to Hawks Cay Resort and Vacation Villa Village in the Florida Keys 

 

 

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FLORIDA KEYS
VACATIONS

 

WATERFRONT
VIEWS


LOCATION

 
AMENITIES


RESERVATIONS



VACATION
VILLAS


DOLPHINS

 
SNORKELING


CHILDREN'S PROGRAM

 
FLORIDA KEYS
FISHING


FISHING GUIDES


TREASURE
ISLAND


TENNIS


ISLAND
HISTORY

 
PRESIDENTS'
RETREAT


WATERSPORTS

















 

 



Visit the Florida Keys and Interact with the Dolphins

 

There are five places - Hawks Cay, the Dolphin Research Center, and Theater of the Sea, Dolphins Plus, and Dolphins Cove in the Florida Keys which provide visitors an opportunity to interact with dolphins. These encounter programs are not inexpensive. Each facility has age, or height, and other safety limitations and restrictions. Advance reservations recommended. CALL FOR SPECIFIC FEES

A description of the Hawks Cay program is provided below:

The Dolphin Connection at Hawks Cay Resort, Mile Marker 61,
Duck Key, Florida Keys (305)743-7000

Its Dolphin Discovery program is 45 minutes long and includes 25 minutes of personalized contact but no swimming with the dolphins. Under the supervision of a highly skilled guide or trainer you'll be able to pet, touch, and possibly feed the dolphins.

In its Dolphins Dockside program, Hawks Cay provides adults and teens with a look at dolphin training. Participants act as trainer assistants during a training session , ages 13 and over, 12 and under must be supervised by a paid adult.

The resort's Dolphin Detective program offers young children and opportunity for hands-on participation in the trainer's world including training games, preparation of dolphin fish food and supervised training of the dolphins. 30 minute dock side program . Children must be 5 years or older.

Dolphin Research Center



A description of the
Dolphin Research Center, which is within a mile of Hawks Cay is provided below.

Dolphin Research Center, Mile Marker 59, close by Hawks Cay on Grassy Key, Florida Keys (305) 289-1121, www.dolphins.org Dolphin Research Center features Exciting and fun narrated dolphin and sea lion sessions every half hour from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., 7 days a week.
Dolphin Encounter swim program, DolphinSplash wade-in program and other fun interactive programs offered daily!

The Dolphin Research Center began as Santini's Porpoise School and was run by Milton Santini, a pioneer in dolphin husbandry and training. At that time visitors were allowed to swim with the dolphins.

In 1962, Hollywood hearing about Santini made a movie about a family in the keys that befriends a dolphin. "Flipper" was filmed on location at the Dolphin research Center (Santini's) and starred five of Santini's dolphins, including Mitzi, Little Bit, and Mr. Gipper. Some of the dolphins at the Dolphin research center are descended from those "Flipper" stars. Mitzi, Santini's first pupil, was picked to star as Flipper in the original movie.This is the place were the famous porpoise "Flipper" was trained and buried. Mitzi's performance made the film and the TV series that followed a hit. She became a beloved celebrity at Grassy Key. When she died she was buried beneath a dolphin statue in the School's courtyard. The Dolphin Research Center maintains the grave, and in honor of her accomplishments they always make it the first stop on the tour. A small plaque at the Dolphin Research Center reads:

Dedicated to the memory of Mitzi The original Flipper 1958 -1972

In 1977 Jean Paul-Gouin a whale conservationist purchased the Santini facility and renamed it "Institute for Delphinid Research". The facility was closed to the public in order to research the dolphin's language and reasoning skills.

In 1984 having completed his project, Jean Paul-Gouin turned over the facility with its dolphins to his general manager, Jayne Shannon, and head trainer, Mandy Rodriquez. They founded the non-for-profit Dolphin Research Center.

 

A description of several other dolphin interaction programs in the Florida Keys may be found at

http://www.floridakeysbest.com/florida_keys/kids_dolphins.htm

 

 

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