Kiersten Rader, of Boardman, a junior at The Ohio State University studying animal sciences and psychology, has completed a five-month internship in Hawaii studying Atlantic Bottlenose Dolphins.
During her stay she worked in Honolulu for Dolphin Quest, a world-renowned dolphin training, husbandry and research facility.
She worked side-by-side with trainers, assisting in development of new behaviors of the dolphins, collecting scientific data and samples, and recording behavioral observations.
She also led intimate dolphin encounters with guests at the Hilton Waikoloa Village Beach Resort; and participated in a trainer lecture series taught by Dolphin Quest faculty members.
“Working with the trainers and being trusted to be so hands-on with the animals was the experience of a lifetime,” Miss Rader said.
She is the only student at OSU to have ever participated in the Dolphin Quest program.
The Kahala Hotel & Resort’s 26,000 square foot natural lagoon is home to playful Atlantic Bottlenose dolphins. The Dolphin Quest trainers offer daily education programs where guests can experience these animals up-close, and understand what makes them unique.
Among the several dolphins that Miss Rader swam with was Lono (an ancient Hawaiian god of fertility and farming). He is the largest and oldest of the Dolphin Quest animal family. At 500 pounds, he ranks among the larger of the Atlantic Bottlenose dolphin species. He has sired several calves at Dolphin Quest Hawaii where he resided for most of his life