Jojo the Dolphin, A Turks and Caicos Celebrity
Experience Wild Dolphin Encounters in Turks and Caicos
It’s the stuff of Disney dreams—exploring crystal clear turquoise waters with a friendly dolphin as your sidekick. Well, this dream is possible right here in Turks and Caicos. Keep reading to learn all about JoJo, our friendly local dolphin – right here in Turks and Caicos!
Jojo is a 10-foot male Atlantic Bottlenose dolphin who frequents the Grace Bay area. He is one of the Turks and Caicos Islands’ most popular celebrities, known for his friendly demeanor and interest in humans. Today, his friendship of more than four decades with local personalities has helped prompt the conservation of and public affection for wild dolphins in the Turks and Caicos Islands. Here’s what you need to know about JoJo the Dolphin.
What Makes JoJo the Dolphin Special?
JoJo’s keen interest in humans is what makes him different from other dolphins, and a special character in Turks and Caicos. Dolphins are social and playful animals that usually live in pods but JoJo is unique in that he often approaches humans alone. For those who have established long-term relationships with him, interactions with JoJo feel personal and special. It’s these relationships with humans, and special four-legged friends, that makes JoJo so special.
Many people over the years have been able to interact with JoJo because he tends to stick around in the same areas. Another reason why JoJo is so special is that he can usually be found cruising the coast from Fort George Cay to Grace Bay. Because he is often found in these areas, he has become a welcome sight on daily boat charters and cruises. We can’t think of a better ambassador for our islands and keeping dolphins in the wild!
When did JoJo start interacting with humans?
The first documented JoJo-human interaction was between JoJo and Dean Bernal in the 1980s. Dean is an American wildlife advocate who moved to the Turks and Caicos Islands in the 1980s. He forged a special relationship with JoJo when they would meet and interact on his daily swims. Eventually, JoJo became his scuba diving partner. Since then, JoJo has befriended many people and animals in the Turks and Caicos Islands. Tim Ainsley of Sail Beluga was responsible for introducing others, like Jay Sargent, to JoJo who have been lucky enough to form a close relationship with him.
Delphine, your host and one of our directors here at Hummingbird Luxury first interacted with JoJo in the late 80s as a baby. Living in Leeward at the time, her family would often see JoJo in the shallow waters off Pelican Beach. Naturally they would jump straight in the water! JoJo would often swim in to investigate. Later, she enjoyed encounters on Beluga and her own boats at Panoply Sport Fishing & Luxury Charters. What started off the beach in Leeward became a wonderful friendship which has lasted decades. We can’t wait to share this extraordinary experience with our guests!
Who Does JoJo Interact With?
When Bernal first met JoJo, he had a mate that Bernal named Chenoa. Together, they had two calfs—JoJo Jr. and MoJo. History shows that JoJo enjoys interacting with humans. Sometimes he shows up alone, and other times in the company of other dolphins. He and his companions like playing in the wake left behind by speed boats and charter vessels along the coast. Over the years, the people who spend time with JoJo have named many of the dolphins he’s been spotted with. Dreamer, Bo, Snipper, and Raggedy Anne are some of his frequent friends.
You can most often spot JoJo swimming in the company of a young dolphin named Dreamer. Like JoJo, Dreamer also likes swimming near humans that are snorkeling, boating, and swimming around Providenciales and the Caicos Cays off North Caicos. Some say that little Dreamer will carry on JoJo’s legacy of charming newcomers and residents of the islands long after he is gone.
How Old is JoJo?
Based on JoJo’s early interactions with Dean Bernal, it is believed that he was born in the late 1960s to early 1970s and is in his 50’s! His size and characteristics reported at that time have allowed his age to be estimated. His latest offspring, Dreamer, was most likely born in late summer of 2018.
JoJo can often be seen rubbing his belly on the anchor line of an anchored boat. He will swim round and round the line to give himself a good scratch!
How Can I Meet JoJo?
Your best bet at spotting JoJo is venturing out on the North Shore of Providenciales by boat. We can assist in booking a boat charter to visit the areas he’s most often spotted. He’s typically seen between Fort George Cay and Grace Bay. Even though JoJo is friendly, it is important to remember that, like all dolphins in the Turks and Caicos Islands, he is a wild animal. That means that we cannot always accurately predict their behaviour – or where he’ll be for that matter. Furthermore, a dolphin sighting is never a given, though they are rather common here. By getting out into JoJo’s natural habit aboard snorkel expeditions, kayak trips, sailing charters, and boat tours, you can increase your chances of spotting JoJo and his friends on your trip to the Turks and Caicos Islands.
Remember to Interact Responsibly
If you do encounter a wild dolphin please be responsible. Remember to keep your distance. Don’t ever touch, chase, or harass the dolphins and this is especially important if they are moving in a pod. While dolphins are often agreeable and playful, they can become aggressive when they feel threatened by humans.
In addition to JoJo, Dreamer and their friends, it is very common to encounter pods of dolphins in the deeper waters outside the reef. We have a number of dolphin species who make our waters their home!
Let Hummingbird Luxury Help You Plan Your Wild Dolphin Encounter
Dreaming of a leisurely boat cruise alongside JoJo and his pals? Leave it to our team at Hummingbird Luxury to connect you with the right crew. Our concierge service will provide you with best local knowledge. Let us help reserve the most reputable charters and adventure companies to get you out on the water. Get in touch with us today to meet yourself with JoJo and the rest of the friendly dolphins of Providenciales.