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Shedd Aquarium Welcomes Two Calves with Hours of One Another

Posted By : The Animal Facts Editorial Team

Date: September 2, 2020 9:10 pm

shedd aquarium dolphin calf

The pacific white sided dolphin calf at the Shedd Aquarium

Photo Credit: ©Shedd Aquarium/Brenna Hernandez

Shedd Aquarium has celebrated the birth of a two precious calves within twelve hours of one another. Naya the beluga and Katrl the pacific white-sided dolphin gave birth overnight on August 30th and the morning of the 31st.

Naya, a 31 year old beluga gave birth to her calf at 7pm on Sunday August 30th. Unfortunately following the successful birth Naya also gave birth to a stillborn calf. Twins are incredibly rare for the beluga and are believed to occur in less than 1% of births.

This birth follows the arrival of another beluga calf to mother, Bella on Friday August 21st.

shedd aquarium dolphin calf
shedd aquarium dolphin calf

The pacific white sided dolphin calf at the Shedd Aquarium

Photo Credit: ©Shedd Aquarium/Brenna Hernandez

The calf has been seen swimming but has a long road ahead. Due to being a twin she is considered premature and weighs 30kg (66lbs). Bellas calf born on August 21st was more than double this at 63kg (139lbs).

This will present some developmental hurdles for the calf but caretakers are hopeful they will witness nursing and bonding between mother and calf in the coming days.

Shedd Aquarium believe this to be only the second time a cetacean calf has survived after being born as a twin.

shedd aquarium beluga calf
shedd aquarium beluga calf

The beluga calf at the Shedd Aquarium

Photo Credit: ©Shedd Aquarium/Eva Ho and Brenna Hernandez

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The beluga calf was followed by the birth of a pacific white-sided dolphin to mom Katrl at 6.20am on August 31st. This calf was delivered successfully after a 2 hour labor. Following the birth mom successfully helped the calf to the surface where it took its first breath.

“As we celebrate our new additions, we recognize the need to do all we can to support the mothers, and calves, so that they thrive,” said Peggy Sloan, chief animal operations officer at Shedd Aquarium.

“In an extraordinary year of unpredictability, Naya’s historic pregnancy highlights our need to understand beluga reproduction. It also underscored that every birth is significant and contributes to advancing science. Even with a difficult outcome, such as the stillbirth of one of Naya’s twins, we understand the cycle of life and loss and continuously strive to learn from these experiences,” added Sloan.

shedd aquarium beluga calf

The beluga calf at the Shedd Aquarium

Photo Credit: ©Shedd Aquarium/Eva Ho and Brenna Hernandez

It will be announced across Shedd Aquariums social media when the calves go on display.

Learn more about the Shedd Aquarium on their website – Shedd Aquarium

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