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Gulfarium’s resident dolphins settle into new ‘oasis’ habitat on Okaloosa Island

The new habitat, known as Dolphin Oasis, is located on the north side of the park. It spans 2.2 acres and features sandy dunes, swaying palm trees, and the sparkling emerald waters of the Gulf of Mexico.
View of Dolphin Oasis from the top of the presentation grandstands, which will hold 480 guests. (Gulfarium Marine Adventure Park)

The Gulfarium Marine Adventure Park, located on Okaloosa Island, announced that their resident Atlantic bottlenose dolphins are making themselves at home in the long-awaited Dolphin Oasis

  • The new habitat, known as Dolphin Oasis, is located on the north side of the park. It spans 2.2 acres and features sandy dunes, swaying palm trees, and the sparkling emerald waters of the Gulf of Mexico.

After calling their original tank home since the Gulfarium first opened to visitors in 1955, the beloved dolphins now have the chance to swim in the one million gallon saltwater oasis. 

Complete with exciting new features for both human and cetacean guests alike, Dolphin Oasis will open its viewing areas periodically to visitors starting December 26th to allow the dolphins time to get fully acclimated. 

  • The full exhibit will then celebrate its grand debut just in time for the Spring 2024 season, when the park welcomes droves of guests during the warm weather months.
Gulfarium Marine Mammal Trainers watch the dolphins through the acrylic split-level viewing window, one of the new features at Dolphin Oasis. (Gulfarium Marine Adventure Park)

“Our staff and longtime supporters are thrilled to see Dolphin Oasis come to fruition,” said Gulfarium Senior Vice President, Patrick Berry. “We have been working on this expansion for many years, and witnessing our dolphins acclimate in their new home is better than we ever could have imagined. We cannot wait to welcome guests to Dolphin Oasis soon.”

The Gulfarium’s resident dolphins are acclimating well to their new home and will continue to settle in over the next few months. (Gulfarium Marine Adventure Park)

From the 480-person grandstand seating of the presentation habitat where the park’s dolphin shows will continue, to the 27-foot tall acrylic viewing window in the exhibit habitat that allows people to observe the dolphins both above and below the waterline, Dolphin Oasis promises a state-of-the-art upgrade for all involved. 

  • The new encounter habitat will also provide improived opportunities for up-close dolphin interactions across various programs.
For the first time since its inception in 1955, the original dolphin habitat at the Gulfarium no longer houses dolphins. (Gulfarium Marine Adventure Park)

“Our main dolphin habitat was one of the first of its kind and has stood proud for over 68 years,” states Will Merrill, president of the Gulfarium. “What was once a pioneering habitat for dolphins back in the 1950s provided dolphins the top-notch animal welfare that we offer our resident animals.”

2 Responses

  1. “Resident” dolphins? Captive, actually. Prisoners. Better a big prison enclosure than a small one, but as they have committed no crime, unless they are free to come and go as they please this is not okay.

    1. Coooooool. You know they rehabilitate injured local wildlife all the time, right? Do you actually think the dolphin oasis was built by a bunch of villains with a malicious porpoise (see what I did there?) ?? If you have to troll something, find a criminal report page or worldly tragedies story. There’s plenty of bad out there. The dolphin oasis does not fall under that category.

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