PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. - Gulf World and the community celebrated on Wednesday as the facility's youngest dolphin, Soliel, had her first birthday.
Gulf World employees, trainers, and animal lovers of all ages came to sing happy birthday to the young dolphin and watch her show off some of her tricks.
Just like human birthdays, Soliel celebrated with friends, dancing, and cake.
"We have a a cake that is frozen. It has pieces of ice in it, and we're gonna sing happy birthday to her before the first show," said Lead Dolphin Trainer at Gulf World Jenna Giarrusso.
Soliel weighs 175 pounds and is about 4 1/2 feet long, which makes her nearly as big as her two-year-old best friend Angel. Giarrusso says her size fits her personality.
"Soliel copies the older dolphins a lot. She thinks that she is ten years old even though she is one. She is often following the other females around, copying the behaviors they do, and acting like a much older dolphin," says Giarrusso laughing.
Some of the participants have seen Soleil grow up, such as the Crumpler family.
"We got to see her blow bubbles and eat them. It was really cute and see her in her first shows just playing and jumping around and having fun while the other dolphins actually performed the expected behaviors," said Gulf World Visitor Charity Crumpler.
Soliel is one of three generations at the marine park. She was joined by her mother and grandmother at the celebration.
Gulf World says Soliel loves learning new behaviors, spending time with her family, and water play.
The show will be at the AMIkids building on 200 East Beach Drive.
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