Oscar is Hawaiian spinner dolphin, Stenella longirostris, originally sighted and identified by Pacific Whale Foundation staff in Manele Bay on the southeast side of the island Lana’i on August 3, 1997. The dolphin is easily identified by the unique notch in its dorsal fin. Oscar was later observed on the southeast side of Lana’i on July 11, 1998 and off the coast of western Maui on March 15, 1999.

The Hawaiian spinner dolphin rests in coastal regions and bays during the day and tends to prefer regions with sandy bottoms that provide safety from offshore predators. During the day, the animals are quite inactive but their energy levels mount as nightfall approaches. Observers can watch a sequence of increased activity, leaping, and spinning as the pod prepares to move offshore to hunt at night. In fact, the spinner dolphins receive their name from the beautiful, spinning leaps they make out of the water. The transition behavior from rest to hunting was well documented in Kealakekua Bay on the Kona coast of the island Hawai’i, also referred to as the Big Island, by Kenneth Norris.

Oscar was named by Howard Chen in honor of Genevieve Chua due to her generous love of animals and is a unique way to remember his first gift to her, a little blue dolphin lamp, and to demonstrate his appreciation and respect for her. Howard believes the gift of naming a dolphin is a true symbol of an ongoing love of mother nature and an appropriate way to honor a woman who cares so deeply for animals.

Genevieve is from Singapore and is studying veterinary science in Western Australia. She has a great passion for helping animals that extends to family, friends, and others around her. Genevieve is on course to receive her degree at the end of 2012 from the University of Sydney.

The name Oscar was actually selected by Genevieve, even though at the time she did not know she truly was naming a dolphin.