Adopt A Whale Shark
!Become a member of the WSORC family by adopting a whale shark!
If you adopt a whale shark through the Whale Shark and Oceanic Research Center, your generous support will enable an international team of researchers, interns and volunteers to pursue answers to age old questions about the whale shark, Rhincodon typus. WSORC is perfectly situated on the Bay Island of Utila, one of the few locations around the world to have year round sightings of these elusive giants.
Being a sponsor is a win-win-win proposition. You receive the warm feeling that comes when you have donated to a worthwhile cause. WSORC is able to continue its mission of increasing protection for this vulnerable species by investigating the whale sharks visiting the island. And most importantly, the whale shark wins in this relationship by receiving increased protection in Honduran waters through the establishment of best management practices based on our scientific investigation.
Funding may be used:
- To deploy visual, satellite and/or acoustic tags to aid in tracking the movement of individual sharks in their migration across the oceans;
- To facilitate photo-identification work and behavioral studies on the effects of ecotourism on the sharks;
- To increase education and awareness about the species to tourists and locals alike within Honduras and beyond.
Levels of Sponsorship include Individual, Family and Company. The cost for an Individual to adopt a Whale Shark via the internet is $50.00. Family sponsorships (up to 4 people) are available for $100.00. The cost of the company level is $150.00.
A variety of payment methods are available. We can accept cash or travellers checks in person at the WSORC office. Checks (in US currency) can be written out to WSORC, and sent in care of Kisty Engel, PO Box 877, San Antonio, Fl 33576. Credit cards can be used in person or via the internet, Or, use Paypal to send your funds. PayPal makes it easy to send money by email to the Whale Shark and Oceanic Research Center from your PayPal account.
The Whale Sharks of Utila need your support!
Join the WSORC family and become a part of the solution.
JUST A FEW MEMBERS OF THE WSORC FAMILY:
Bas became a WSORC family member and adopter of H-017 on August 7, 2007. The name given was "BO", named for the University of Michigan football coach. Ecocean sighting number 2252007102216 registered on March 30, 2007.
John became a WSORC family member in September 2007. Thank you for this corporate adoption of whale shark visual tag number U-624. John has named his new family addition Lizzie B, after his pet dog. Thank you John and the wonderful group you bring with you each visit.
Matt became a WSORC family member in September 2007, after coming to Utila for a week of diving with his friends and associates. They did see whale sharks during the course of their week and snorkeled with them on more than one occasion. Matt adopted a wonderful little girl (U-623) and named her "Sweat Pea". Thanks for the corporate level adoption, every bit helps.
Tim made a corporate adoption in September 2007 and named his new family member after his son "Dakota". Thanks to Matt and his group we placed 4 whale sharks up for adoption the week of their visit.
"Maya", which is made up of a combination of names was the name given to Yash's newest family member. Thank you for your individual adoption of this beautiful whale shark now known as MAYA.
The Bryant Family
Sam and Roxanne Bryant, long time visitors to the Bay Islands and dear friends of WSORC adopted "Tulio" on December 20, 2007. They named their male whale shark for another dear friend, Tulio Gomez, who tragically passed away in a diving accident in Roatan on June 21, 2005. Thanks guys, that is wonderful tribute to a dear friend.
Donna Bowels & Glen Kerr
Became WSORC family members in January 2008. Thank you for this Family adoption of whale shark visual tag number u-649. They named the new family addition "GLEEN". A special name known only to them. Thanks guys for your support.
The Zahn Family
Another family adoption for February 2008. "Linda Lee" was the name given to the Zhan family's newest member. Ecocean encounter and photo id 225200793237
Bryan not only has adopted this beautiful female whale shark, he was part of the team that sighted this young lady. Bryan is credited with the photo id shot posted on Ecoocean. He has named his adopted whale shark "MALAIKA", Swahili for angel. Adoption occurred on Utila May 3, 2008. Malaika is H-059.
Linc adopted this beautiful female for his daughter and named her accordingly, "Kailee JO". Thanks for the corporate level adoption and terrific support that the Linc has demonstrated. We can do so much more when we have such wonderful contributors. Thanks Linc. Hope to see you soon. And bring the gang with you.
While encaged as an intern at WSORC, Ritsert had the opportunity to sight, photo id and adopt his wonderful new family member. Ritsert has credit for the Ecocean photo ID (H-061) on "ORION". He named him for what he says the spots look like on his whale shark, the constellation Orion.
Jennifer has adopted "BIG JIM" U-629 as part of our tribute and memorial to Jim Engel. Thank you Jennifer. The monies from the Big Jim Memorial will go to the purchasing of satellite tags.
She became a new WSORC family member in February 2007, while visiting the island to see her boyfriend Derek. Michelle adopted the 4 ½ meter male whale shark originally known as U604. Heretofore he will be known to the world as "Hunter". Hunter was named after the son of Derek Johnson.
Derek became a WSORC family member in March 2007. Derek adopted the 5.5 meter female whale shark originally known as U605. Heretofore she will be known to the world as "Haeley", after his daughter.
Pieternel de Haan
Pieternel became a WSORC family member in February 2007, after coming to Utila for the Shark Research Institute's whale shark research week. While they didn't see any sharks during the course of their week, Pieternel adopted the 5 ½ meter whale shark of undetermined sex originally known as 0539. Heretofore this shark will be known to the world as "Hermy".
John became a WSORC family member in March 2007, while staying at the Utila Lodge. John adopted the 6 ½ meter female whale shark originally known as U603. Heretofore she will be known to the world as "Goburp". This may seem an odd name to some, but it means a lot to his granddaughter, Emily, after whom the shark is named.
Carolyn became a WSORC family member in March 2007 while staying at the Utila Lodge. Carolyn adopted the 6 meter male whale shark originally known as 0529. Heretofore this shark will be known to the world as "Jack", after Carolyn's brother.
Sarah became a WSORC family member in March 2007, after diving and working alongside BICD/WSORC staff for many months. Sarah adopted the 6 meter male whale shark originally known as 0528. Heretofore this shark will be known to the world as "Sebastian".
Michelle became a WSORC family member in March 2007. Whale shark 0535 was adopted for her by proxy when her father, Walter Windsor, heard about the program while staying at the Utila Lodge. Fittingly, Walter named the 6 meter female "Chelle" after his daughter.
Lisa visited Utila the last week of November with her friend Shari. These two delightful young ladies from New York City entertained everyone for the whole week they were here. Lisa adopted H-060 and named her new critter "Mystery", her secret scuba diving name. Oops, I guess it is no longer a secret. Thanks Lisa for your generous support of WSORC and come home soon.
Joe Barron, an animal lover from Evansville, Ind., is a retired U.S. Marine Corps veteran. He and his wife Carolyn have long supported animal-welfare organizations, and have rounded out their family with 2 dogs, 2 cats, 4 horses, and numerous ducks, geese and chickens who live on their farm in Indiana. Joe and Carolyn's daughter, Susannah, and son-in-law, Michael, spent their honeymoon on Utila in November 2008 and discovered the WSORC, and knew sponsoring a whale shark would be the perfect way both to honor Joe and support such magnificent marine creatures. The family named thier adopted Whale Shark "Barron".
Kirk and Linda Koepsel adopted "Lucky Kate" for their daughter Katie. Welcome to the WSORC family and thank you for the adoption and your continued support of WSORC. The Koepsel spent wet and rainy week during November 2008. .
Emma Kelly from England adopted "Presto" for her partner Matthew Ball during her stay on Utila in December of 2008. Welcome to the WSORC family Matthew and thank you Emma for the adoption.
Dr. Lauren Gavaghan
Dr. Lauren Gavaghan from Mombasa, Kenya adopted H-076 and named her "Tumaini". Tumaini is Hope in Swahili. Tumaini was first photo identified on March 28, 2009 and can be found in the Ecocean data base. Lauren was on the encounter trip the day WSORC took the original photo identification picture. Thank you for your generous contribution and the beautiful name "Tumaini" for this magnificent animal. We hope to see you and Tumaini again soon.
Carol Merrill from Sacramento California visited Utila with Andy's SCUBA World in April, 2009. Carol made an individual adoption of H-076, Tumaini. Thank Carol you for contributing to our family and supporting our research and tagging efforts.
Students Engaged in Aquatic Studies (SEAS) have adopted "FRED" SRI-0529. This environmental group is located at the University of South Carolina. You can view their web site at http://www.msci.sc.edu/seas Thank you for your individual adoption and support of WSORC.
Dave and Jennifer Volkmann
Dave and Jennifer Volkmann adopted U-627, "Irene" while visiting Utila from Oceanside California during April, 2009. They choose "Irene" for David's mother's middle name. Thank you for your individual adoption and support of WSORC. We hope to see you again in the future.
Dr. Rob Davis
Dr. Rob Davis has adopted H-070 for his beautiful wife Lita. The adopted whale shark will be known as "LEETZ" which is Lita's nick name. Dr. Rob first photo identified this shark on January 5, 2009. LEETZ is a 16 foot female that was first encountered south east of Black Hill Seamount. LEETZ was again sighted on January fifth and seventh, 2009.
Pearl Gerace had H-060, Malaika adopted for her by her grandparents Salli and Vyn Meir during their February, 2009 stay in Utila. Pearl is an avid wildlife fan who has a great interest in the ocean and environment. Thank you for your generous contribution.
Lennie Stephens from Louisiana adopted and named H-037 "Lance Paul" in memory of his son during his stay at the Utila Lodge in November of 2008. Lennie's generous donation will provide the opportunities for WSORC to continue its photo identification and visual tagging projects. Lennie and his son Lance were scuba diving buddies and traveled and dove together. Welcome to the WSORC family and thank you for adopting "Lance Paul". Hurry up and get back here so you can snorkel with "Lance Paul".
In Memory of Brady Booth by his mother Laurie Booth: Brady first came to Utila to volunteer with the UCME (Utila Center For Marine Ecology) then stayed on to get his Rescue and Dive Master Certification from UDC (Utila Dive Center.) He made lots of great friends at WSORC during his time on the island and insisted the highlight of his trip was swimming with the Whale Sharks in a huge frenzied 'meat ball' of bonitos. He passed away shortly after that from a tragic accident, but we know he'd love to have a whale shark named after him in his memory. Brady's whale shark is H-059 "Malaika"
The London Family
In Memory of Brady Booth by The London Family: Dan, Karen, Danny & Adam. Brady was a volunteer with the UCME (Utila Center For Marine Ecology) and an enthusiastic diver. He became friends with the people at WSORC (Whale Shark & Oceanic Research Center) and his most memorable experience on Utila was snorkeling with whale sharks. Brady's whale shark is H-076 "Tumaini".
Jeremy and Jason Kinnard
Jeremy and Jason became adopted parents in March 2007. Jeremy has been living on Utila for 6 months and working as an instructor at the Bay Island College of Diving. His brother, Jason, and their father, James, came to visit in March 2007. During their visit, the brothers decided to name the whale shark previously known as 0173 after their father "Jimmy".
10/24/2012: Whale Shark Migration more >>
09/27/2012: Guided Snorkel Tours more >>
07/05/2011: 54 souls, mostly new faces, braved the storm last night to pack the Utila Lodge Bar for Jon's weekly whale shark presentation. Thanks to everyone, especially Shawn and Kate Boyer from Miami who adopted a whale shark, for coming out... more >>Join mailing list >>