CHICAGO (CBS) – A Pacific white-sided dolphin at the Shedd Aquarium is pregnant, aquarium officials announced.
The dolphin, Tique, is expected to give birth sometime around mid-May, according to the Shedd. She is pregnant as a result of a male dolphin from the Miami Seaquarium.
Tique, who is 26 years old and weighs 200 pounds, was taken to the Miami Seaquarium for two years. She lived with Kri, the other female white-sided Pacific dolphin at the Shedd, and three resident dolphins from the Miami facility – including a male, Lii, who is the father of the soon-to-be-born calf, Shedd officials said.
There are few Pacific white-sided dolphins in aquariums and zoos, and for that reason, Shedd officials are say they are “thrilled” about the pregnancy.
“However, we are extremely cautious in our optimism,” Ken Ramirez, Shedd executive vice president of Animal Collections and Training said in a news release. “There are fewer than 20 Pacific white-sided dolphins in North American facilities.”
Populations of white-sided Pacific dolphins are not currently threatened in the wild, according to Ramirez, but by studying the animals, the Shedd is able to provide science-based recommendations to make sure their populations remain healthy.