CLEARWATER, Fla. (WFLA) – Clearwater Marine Aquarium is celebrating the 50th birthday of one of its dolphins on Saturday.
PJ is the oldest dolphin at the aquarium’s newest facility. She became a resident at the aquarium in Aug. 2018 after stranding in the shallow water of Old Tampa Bay. She lives with fellow dolphins Winter and Hope.
She was deemed non-releasable due to severe hearing and vision loss, worn teeth and arthritis.
PJ was even celebrated with a “pajama grandma” dance party with members of the animal care team.
PJ was named after “Panama,” a past resident at CMA whose age and conditions were similar to PJ, which stands for Panama Jr.
“Her age is determined using a technique where radiographs of her pectoral fins asses her growth plates in the bones to provide an age range,” the aquarium wrote in a press release.
An animal’s “birthday” at the aquarium is celebrated on their rescue dates.
CMA said dolphin lifespans vary, but PJ is beyond the natural life expectancy for her species.
They do say, however, bottlenose dolphins can live into their 60s in managed care.