One of the first things you will probably read about when researching the Turks and Caicos is the famous dolphin JoJo. However, what you won’t find is that JoJo tends to come visit Ports of Call Resort guests at our very own beach spot on Grace Bay Beach. In fact, it is not uncommon for our guests to spot JoJo on a daily basis. Whether it’s swimming off the shores just shy of our beach front, or taking a boating excursion further out, we can confidently say you’ll most likely come across him at some point.
If you’ve been to Ports of Call Resort before, you’ll know that every week at our Manager’s Social, we ask if anyone has seen JoJo that week and the answer is most always yes! You’ll also know that at every Manager’s Social is a trivia game and, (spoiler alert) – there may just be a question or two about this unique aquatic mammal. We believe JoJo should be considered the mascot of the Turks and Caicos Island’s. His overly friendly personality, ability to be free in the most beautiful water, and his safe and non-threatening gestures are just some of the things that can represent this island as a whole!
JoJo is a male Atlantic Bottlenose Dolphin that has been recognized for his voluntary interactions to play with humans. JoJo was first discovered in 1980 by Dean Bernal when he was out swimming and recognized the unique attributes of this mammal. Overtime, the American wildlife advocate settled in TCI and developed a relationship with JoJo, keeping him safe and sound as his own warden.
The 10 foot, 880-pound dolphin has since been proclaimed as a National Treasure of the Turks and Caicos. While JoJo has become a powerful symbol for nature conservation in this country, there is also much more underwater life that can be seen off the shores of Grace Bay including an assortment of fish, lobster, crabs, conch, whales (seasonally; December-February), sea turtles, and many other dolphins! The pristine turquoise colored waters allow swimmers to see what lives bellow below them. Don’t worry, there are no threatening animals in Turks and Caicos which is just another bonus of this beautiful island!
So how do you identify this famous dolphin? Besides the fact of his peculiar ability to interact so closely with humans, he can also be recognized by the scratches on his back. Because of JoJo's playful personality, he often tends to wind up jumping the wake of moving boats, however, with moving boats come propellers and unfortunately JoJo was hit by one a while back. While this left JoJo with some scarring, he was nursed perfectly back to health by humans which may be another reason why he is so comfortable around us!
As for the best time to see JoJo? Well, there isn’t really. JoJo comes around a lot but never seems to have a set schedule. So next time when you come to visit us, stay alert on the beach, and we can almost guarantee you will see and maybe have a live encounter with our good old friend, Jojo!
If you’ve had any encounters with JoJo, we would love for you to share them with us in the comments below!
For more information on JoJo, visit https://www.visittci.com/jojo.