|Photo Courtesy of Alex Mancini|
He has some pretty sweet digs at Gulf World these days. He's a fully-functioning member of the park's seven member rough-toothed dolphin pod, AND he has his own personal chiropractor. He's a lovable staff favorite, I visit him every time I go back to Panama City Beach, and he still seems to remember me, all these years later.
This pic was recently posted on Facebook by a guest who visited the park, and Astro can be seen clowning around with his very own traffic cone--one of the many objects given to the animals on a rotational basis to enhance environmental enrichment and stimulate critical thinking.
Wanna know more about rough-toothed dolphins--my absolute favorite animals?? Check out this great background article from MarineBio.org: Steno bredanensis, Rough-Toothed Dolphin. Environmental enrichment information is also available in this break-through publication by Robert J. Young, Environmental Enrichment for Captive Animals.
Feel like totally nerdin' out? I can talk about this stuff for hours!