Baltimore boosterism bites again. Yesterday we reported in this space that area residents showered an ailing elephant in the Baltimore Zoo with 15 bushels of fruit and $500 in cash. Monday night the owners of a Catonsville restaurant took animal loving one step further by adopting Kibby the dolphin, a resident at the spanking new National Aquarium.

"He's really cute, takes after my husband," said Veronica Atsaides about her new son. The Atsaides' restaurant, Kibby's, for which the dolphin was named, won the right to parenthood by selling customers 700 "Adopt a Dolphin" T-shirts at $6 a crack in a promotion sponsored by a local liquor distributor. Kibby's, interestingly enough, is a seafood place, "well known for our shrimp salad," Atsaides said.

The promotion netted the $10,000 to bring the bottlenose dolphin from its native waters off Galveston, Tex., and maintain it in the stylish aquarium in downtown Baltimore.

For small spenders with big hearts there is an ongoing "Aquadopt Program" by which "you adopt a fish, mammal, bird or invertebrate and you become a proud parent," according to spokesperson Nancy Checket. For $15, for example, you can provide a purple urchin with a home. An exotic macaw for the tropical rain forest exhibit goes for $1,200.