Durban — Monday was a day of birthday wishes and shared memories for the first dolphin born at uShaka Sea World 40 years ago.
Kelpie was the first dolphin born into the uShaka Sea World family at the old Sea World 40 years ago (January 22).
South African Association for Marine Biological Research spokesperson, Ann Kunz, said Kelpie weighs close to 400kg and is still as enthusiastic as he was as a cub dolphin. He was a superstar who loved to learn.
“Kelpie is our go-to dolphin if there are interactions with special guests and has met many ‘Reach for a Dream’ children,” Kunz said.
She said Kelpie was the father of Khanya who seems to have inherited his gentle spirit.
Curator of Animal Welfare and Behaviour Management, Gabby Harris, said: “We feel absolutely honoured and blessed to know this incredibly generous soul. He is like the best friend you ever had.”
“Happy birthday dear angel”, Kunz added.
Here’s what Facebook users had to say about Kelpie:
Sally Coussis said: “I remember him from those early years.”
Debbie King said Happy birthday Kelpie! Hope you had a huge sardine cake for your special day.
Louie Owen said: “Happy birthday beautiful Kelpie, I have fond memories of working with you in the 80’s.”
Maryke Musson said: “Hiphiphorayyyyyy to the coolest dolphin-dude everrr! And big thank you and yayyyyy to the super team for loving him non-stop!”
Jenna Bezuidenhoutn said: “Happy birthday Kelpie. I remember watching you many years ago at the old marine world. Haven't had the privilege to go to uShaka yet but I'm sure I will soon.”
Franki Aitchison said: “Remember his birth so well! We had to take turns on the “baby” watch!”
Eltina Stenhouse said: “Happy 40th birthday Kelpie, you're such a lovely legend.”
Molly Zamangisi Mhone said Happy birthday to my sweetheart.
Maritsa Nel said: “Happy birthday, he was my “meet a dolphin” dolphin. Just love him xxx.”
WhatsApp your views on this story at 071 485 7995.