PJ the Dolphin
More Facts About PJ
Species: Atlantic bottlenose dolphin.
Origin: Tampa Bay, FL.
Age: Estimated to be approx. 30 years old when rescued.
Rescue Date: August 21, 2018.
PJ’s Similarity to Panama
PJ’s older age and condition as a partially deaf dolphin is reminiscent of Panama, who was a past resident at Clearwater Marine Aquarium. Panama’s bond with Winter was also featured in Dolphin Tale 2.
Panama came to Clearwater Marine Aquarium after stranding in Panama City on October 21, 2000. Following several months of rehabilitative care for anemia and severe sunburn, the National Marine Fisheries and Wildlife Service determined she would not be a successful candidate for release and so she was transferred to her new home at CMA on March 23, 2001.
Panama was believed to be partly or fully deaf and it was determined that she was a “beggar” dolphin while in the wild. This means that she would rely on boaters tossing out fish or scraps opposed to catching fish on her own in the wild. PJ is also believed to be a beggar dolphin who approached humans for food.
For 12 years, Panama brought joy to the hearts of thousands of visitors at CMA and taught them the importance of marine wildlife conservation. When Winter came to CMA in 2005, Panama quickly adopted her as a surrogate daughter. Panama was believed to be deaf, and as such, worked with hearing impaired kids to inspire them to live successfully with their life challenge. In 2012, Panama met our youngest dolphin, Hope, and all three quickly bonded. Panama will always be remembered for her sweet nature and eagerness to play.
Just like Panama, PJ now joins Winter and Hope and will continue to inspire others facing similar challenges.