New bouncing baby dolphin at the Shedd Aquarium
May 29, 2012 1:12PM
Updated: June 1, 2012 1:23PM
There’s a new bouncing baby dolphin at the Shedd Aquarium.
After a year-long pregnancy, Piquet, a 24-year-old Pacific white-sided dolphin, gave birth at 10:34 p.m. Monday.
The baby’s gender has yet to be determined, but the calf swam to the surface and took its first breath shortly after it was born.
Officials estimated the newborns’ length at three feet and weight at 25 pounds.
Despite the successful birth, Ken Ramirez, Shedd’s Executive Vice President of Animal Care and Training, said the dolphin is still at risk. For now, as mother and baby learn to bond and nurse, they will remain out of public view.
“We are thrilled about the birth; however, a calf must reach several milestones in its first days and months,” Ramirez said in a written statement. “We know that female Pacific white-sided dolphins in the wild and in aquariums and zoos commonly lose their first calf during pregnancy or during their first year of life.”
This is Piquet’s first child. The father is dolphin from the Miami Seaquarium, named Lii.
Officials said are fewer than 20 Pacific white-sided dolphins in North American zoos and aquariums.