Shedd welcomes baby dolphin

Shedd Aquarium's Pacific white-sided dolphin Tique, 26, gives birth to a calf on June 3, 2011. (Shedd Aquarium)
June 4, 2011 4:59:23 AM PDT
A Pacific white-sided dolphin named Tique gave birth to a calf Friday morning at Chicago's Shedd Aquarium.

The baby -- whose sex has not been determined -- swam to the surface and took its first breath in the Secluded Bay habitat. While baby and mom both seem to be in good shape, aquarium officials said it's important for calves to reach milestones in the coming days on months. Tique and her calf will be under 24 hour observation for several weeks at Shedd, www.sheddaquarium.org.

"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.

Tique is 26 years old. The calf's father is Lii, who is at the Miami Seaquarium. The calf is a result of a breeding program to increase populations and genetic diversity in captivity, according to Shedd officials. There are fewer than 20 Pacific white-sided dolphins in facilities in North America, they say.

Tique and her calf will not be on exhibit until the baby has made it through the critical stages.


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