CLIPPER, the teenage bottlenose dolphin with a winning smile, may have found romance in the warm blue waters of Sardinia's Emerald Coast.
Reports from the Italian island's Bottlenose Dolphin Research Institute (BDRI) note that the frisky 14-year-old, adopted and named by tall ship sailing cruise company Star Clippers as part of its marine conservation and environmental program, has lately been "socialising with other dolphins some distance away from his mother ".
And it's not before time, as most of his contemporaries start breeding at age 10.
Passengers sailing on Star Clipper from Monte Carlo (Monaco) on April 27 to the French and Italian Rivieras, which includes Sardinia's Costa Smeralda (Emerald Coast), may have an opportunity to spot the dolphin in one of his favourite haunts.
BDRI is a marine centre for research, education and training in bottlenose dolphin ecology and behaviour to protect wild bottlenose dolphins throughout the Mediterranean.
Star Clippers owner and founder, Mikael Krafft is strongly committed to conservation and adopting the dolphin Clipper is part of his support for environmental issues. Naming a dolphin costs $190 and sponsorship $50 a year.
The BDRI, under director and chief biologist, Bruno Diaz Lopez, keeps track of all dolphin sightings and reports in detail to each sponsor.
In his latest message to Mikael Krafft, Bruno said that Clipper had been sighted recently "playing with other calves and exhibiting independent behaviour including exited leaps and breaches".
Star Clippers operates three of the world's largest and tallest sailing vessels, the flagship Royal Clipper and sister ships Star Clipper and Star Flyer, visiting ports often untouched by larger cruise ships and offering passengers the activities, amenities and atmosphere of a private yacht.
The three ships follow the sun year-round in the Mediterranean, Caribbean and in the Baltic.
For more information on dolphin research The BDRI.
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