Nellie, the World's Oldest Dolphin in Human Care, Turning 61 Thursday

Wednesday, Feb 26, 2014  |  Updated 6:07 PM EDT
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Marineland Dolphin Adventure

Marineland Dolphin Adventure staffer Jamie Stanley-Bahnsen shares an intimate moment with Nellie during the week of her 61st birthday.

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The world’s oldest dolphin in human care – a bottlenose who lives in Florida – turns 61 Thursday.

Nellie is a cherished resident of Marineland Dolphin Adventure south of St. Augustine. She was born in the park on Feb. 27, 1953 and went on to star in several television shows filmed at Marineland’s first dolphin stadium and become Jacksonville University’s mascot.

The bottlenose dolphin has far exceeded the average life span of dolphins in the wild and those in aquariums and zoos, Marineland Dolphin Adventure said in a news release.

“Nellie’s long life is a testament to the extraordinary level of care she has received since birth,” the park said.

Marineland Dolphin Adventure is celebrating its celeb dolphin with the hashtag #NellieTurns61 on social media.

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