January 28, 2023

Molly Thriving in the Keys


Molly is one of the most famous bottle-nosed Dolphins in the world, having traveled around the entire country to perform at a myriad of different events, marine parks and fairs, starred in film and even escaped once. The Dolphin Research Center has even coined the name of “Grand Dame” for Molly, as the Dolphin’s adventures are more than most people experience in a lifetime. While Molly now happily resides in Key West, a concern was brought to the attention of those caring for the Dolphin just last month, as she had ceased eating entirely. Some believed that this would mark the final days of Molly.

Thankfully, these concerns were put to an end in but a short while afterwards. While it is true that Molly is at an older age for Dolphins, largely believed to be anywhere from 48 to 53 years of age, it’s clear that there are a few more years ahead for her. The Dolphin Research Center that is located in the Florida Keys was able to hook Molly up to a tube in order to provide food to her. This lasted a few days until the Dolphin was able to start eating without the assistance of a tube once again.

While this was a rather large scare for Molly and the Dolphin Research Center, this well known bottle-nosed Dolphin has seen her fair share of dangerous situations throughout her long and storied life. This first came about early on in her life, around the year of 1968 when she was captured by a prolific Dolphin hunter along the Gulf Coast of Florida and given to a bachelor that lived in Punta Gorda to keep in his pool. This was allowed to happen because of the fact that the Marine Mammal Protection Act had yet to be crafted and made into a law, allowing for Dolphin hunting in this manner. In a short time, the Dolphin was very close to death and wasn’t being cared for as well as she should have been. Thankfully, Frank O’Connor, a former Navy Seal, was requested to look after the Dolphin’s health. It was at this time that Molly was officially taken to Key Largo and nursed back to health by O’Connor.

In the 1970’s, Molly performed all over the country and went through some severe injuries during her adventures. Throughout these years she moved to different owners before finally starring in her first movie known as Key Tortuga. In 1992, the Ocean Reef Club, where Molly was staying at, was attacked by a Lemon Shark that was able to tear through the netting holding in all of the Dolphins. Most of these Dolphins, including Molly, escaped. It was after the Dolphins were captured once again that they were sent to a number of different places before finally landing at the Dolphin Research Center in 1996, where she has been ever since. If you ever want to get an up-close look at Dolphins, try your hand at Nassau swim with Dolphins.