Sun the dolphin celebrates his first birthday at Motobu Genki Village, shakes hands with preschoolers
October 2, 2016 Ryukyu Shimpo
The male bottlenose dolphin, Sun, celebrated his first birthday on September 26 at Motobu Genki Village in Motohama, Motobu. He celebrated with the class of two- to four-year-olds from Hikari Preschool, who sang “Happy Birthday” and fed the dolphin fish as a present. Sun’s mother, Sugar, and her friend, Palm, also celebrated with some synchronized jumping.
Breeding is difficult with bottlenose dolphins. With the help of his caretakers, Sun will be the first bottlenose dolphin to reach its first birthday.
Toshimitsu Kobayashi, head of the Okinawa Marine Research Center (OMCR), which debuted the dolphin petting at Motobu Genki Village, said, “We wanted him to shine like the sun, so we gave him the name ‘Sun.’ We hope to increase the size of his family.”
Nayu Miyagi, 3, said that when she touched Sun, “His skin was rough. He was cute!” Yuito Kojima, 3, added eagerly, “Feeding him fish was fun!”
In July, Sun’s sister, Luna, was born, and the OMCR expects another dolphin to be born next summer.
(English translation by TC&T and Sam Grieb)
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