Dolphin Quest Hawaii has selected the winning name for three baby dolphins from more than 1,200 contest entries.
The three dolphins are named Lehua, Malu and Nahele.
Lehua, was born on Sept. 17 to mother Keo. The amazing underwater video of her birth touched the hearts of millions as viewers watched the dolphin mom in labor, the moment of delivery, and the newborn dolphin taking her very first breath.
The name "Lehua" was suggested by Kapua Smith of Keller, Texas, and it means "beautiful flower" in Hawaiian.
Nine days after Lehua was born, Pele gave birth to her son, Malu, on Sept. 26. Anne Lynch from Warwickshire, United Kingdom, and Lydia Woodward from Denver, Colo. both submitted the winning name suggestion online and at the exact same time. Malu means "peace" in Hawaiian.
On Oct. 15, Dolphin Quest Hawaii’s third expecting mother, Kona, gave birth to her son Nahele. Christa Monika Ahrens of Loveland, Colo., suggested this beautiful name which means "forest" in Hawaiian.
"We are so thankful for the overwhelming response and the lovely, creative names for our three wonderful dolphin calves," says Katie Rice, Manager of Marine Animals for Dolphin Quest. "Lehua, Malu and Nahele are all doing beautifully. They are healthy and just starting to interact with their trainers. Their favorite toy of the moment is a basketball which they enjoy pushing around the surface."
The Baby Dolphin Naming Contest was open for online suggestions submitted through Dolphin Quest’s Web site. Each of the baby naming contest winners will receive a complimentary VIP dolphin swim for two, a photo CD of their Dolphin Quest experience and a chance to meet the newly named dolphins in person.
Dolphin Quest hosts dolphin swim encounters at three locations -- Dolphin Quest Hawaii at the Hilton Waikoloa Village resort on Hawaii's Big Island, Dolphin Quest Oahu at the Kahala Hotel & Resort on Oahu, and Dolphin Quest Bermuda at the island’s Royal Navy Dockyard. Guests can come face-to-face and fingers-to-flippers at Dolphin Quest, in an inspiring and educational experience for the young and the young at heart.
Dolphin Quest is an international organization well-known for its creative approach to education, its commitment to ocean wildlife research, its exemplary animal health care, and its successful breeding programs. The innovative encounter programs featured at Dolphin Quest promote a spirit of connection to the marvels of the oceans. For more information, visit www.dolphinquest.com.