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Vaquita caught in a fish net.

As we celebrate National Dolphin Day today, we think about a beautiful dolphin or porpoise species whose future on the planet is in peril. The vaquita, a rare porpoise species found only in the Gulf of California, is on the edge of extinction largely due to illegal gillnet fishing. With a population of less than 30 believed to be alive on Earth, the vaquita is the most endangered cetacean in the world, dangerously close to extinction, and desperately in need of our help.

The youngest dolphins in our local Dolphin Quest Hawaii family, Kekoa (which means “the brave one” in Hawaiian) and Haukea (“white snow” in Hawaiian), were born at Dolphin Quest’s marine sanctuary on the island of Hawaii just a few months ago.

As you watch this remarkable video (available below) of baby Haukea taking her first breath, notice how her birth into a safe loving environment created expressly for her to thrive makes all the difference. Dolphins born here receive exceptional care and have a high probability of a long, happy and enriching life in a protected ocean sanctuary. Think about the many challenges dolphins are facing in the wild. Then consider supporting the international vaquita rescue efforts and the critical neonatal care their calves need to survive as a species.

Dolphin Quest led the way in advancing dolphin neonatal care, publishing the first ultrasound fetal growth charts and first normal blood parameters for healthy dolphin calves. Reproductive expertise with a variety of dolphin species has continued to grow in the zoological community over the last decade. This expertise makes it possible for marine mammal veterinary specialists from Dolphin Quest together with an international consortium of veterinarians and scientists to apply their knowledge to help the critically endangered vaquita reproduce, hopefully saving it from extinction.

The vaquita will be removed from their unsafe environment, and cared for in a specially designed and protected sanctuaries where they can reproduce and rear their young, eventually to be returned to their native habitat.

Please help Dolphin Quest help the vaquita on National Dolphin Day. Visit to learn more about the plight of the vaquita and to make a donation.

Over the past two years, Dolphin Quest has contributed more than $70,000 and much veterinary and animal expertise to the cause. Together, let’s help save the vaquita from extinction.