HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - With in-person interactive encounters on hold, Dolphin Quest Oahu is growing an online audience.
“People are at home and kind of feeling stuck at home, not much to do. So it’s really a way to connect personally with our animals and they’re loving it,” marine mammals manager Nicole West said.
When the Kahala Hotel & Resort temporarily closed because of the pandemic, Dolphin Quest began offering virtual experiences.
Through a computer hookup, a family sees a marine mammal expert interact with a dolphin and hears them share information about that animal with the viewer.
It happens in real-time and is the next best thing to being in the water yourself.
“All of their different features we’re really looking at and giving them a really in-depth perspective on that individual dolphin,” marine mammal specialist Caitlin Carrington said.
A session costs $199 per household. The proceeds going toward care of the six dolphins at the Kahala Hotel lagoon.
For an extra fee, the dolphin will even paint you a picture. On Monday, holding a brush in its snout, “Hua” dabbed colors onto a white board for sisters Treva and Tyler Levine, who watched from their home.
“It was really fun,” Treva said. “It was incredible!” Tyler said. “I did feel like I was just right there.”
Dolphin Quest also does daily Facetime sessions at 9 a.m., a 10-minute deep dive into dolphin care at its sanctuary.
“Right now currently we’re doing ‘dolphin-ality,’ learning about each individual dolphin,” West said.
She said the online audience is growing. “There’s people who are watching us literally every day and learning about us,” she said.
To learn more about Dolphin Quest Oahu’s virtual experience go to dolphinquest.com.