CHICAGO (CBS) – Chicago’s Shedd Aquarium has a new resident: a dolphin calf born Friday morning.
Aquarium officials announced that a Pacific white-sided dolphin named Tique gave birth to the calf shortly before 9 a.m. The newborn’s gender was not immediately known, and caretakers stressed that the young animal has several critical milestones to reach.
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“The biggest milestone we will be watching closely for throughout the coming days is the interaction between mom and calf. It’s critical for the calf and mom to bond,” Ken Ramirez, executive vice president of animal collections and training, said in a news release.
Shortly after the birth, the calf swam to the surface, took its first breath and began to swim around the Secluded Bay habitat with its mother, the Shedd reported.
The gestation period for Pacific white-sided dolphins is about 12 months.
The pregnancy was the result of a partnership with the Miami Seaquarium. Tique, Shedd’s 26-year-old, 200-pound dolphin, was temporarily relocated to Miami to mate with a male dolphin at the Miami Seaquarium.
There are fewer than 20 Pacific white-sided dolphins in North American facilities.