Ranger the dolphin

The Story of Ranger

Ranger is a Hawaiian spinner dolphin, Stenella longirostris, who has been sighted three times by the research team at Pacific Whale Foundation. The first sighting was on July 24, 1997 between Lana'i and Maui. The second sighting was about a year later off the coast of Southeast Lana'i on July 11, 1998. Our third sighting was on June 6, 1999 off the coast of West Maui.

The Hawaiian spinner dolphins have been well studied by for decades allowing for researchers to collect a wealth of information on their behavioral patterns. For example, researchers have been able to ascertain that these dolphins rest in coastal regions and bays during the day and prefer regions with sandy bottoms. The theory is that these sheltered bays provide shelter from offshore predators such as sharks.

As nightfall approaches the dolphins' behaviors change with increased activity, leaping, and spinning as the dolphins prepare to move offshore to hunt at night. The efforts are coordinated and the group of dolphins, called a pod, won’t move offshore until all the dolphins appear ready to go.

Ranger was named by Bonnie Matthaeus from Pennsylvania in honor of her son Mike. Mike is a Lieutenant in the U.S. Army. He attended Ranger School, an intense 61-day combat leadership course for small-unit tactics and graduated in 2012. He became a member of the 3rd Calvary Regiment and was deployed to service. Bonnie hopes through naming Ranger she can honor not only Mike but also his fellow soldiers who give so much to support the United States.

We are grateful to Bonnie Matthaeus for her support to Pacific Whale Foundation through naming Ranger. We thank you for your support to Pacific Whale Foundation's ongoing wild dolphin research and hope you enjoyed learning about your dolphin.

Sightings of Ranger