Shedd's baby dolphin dies days after birth

Shedd Aquarium's Pacific white-sided dolphin Tique, 26, gives birth to a calf on June 3, 2011. (Shedd Aquarium)

June 10, 2011 2:56:20 PM PDT
The Pacific white-sided dolphin calf born last week at Chicago's Shedd Aquarium has died.

The female baby dolphin was delivered by the Shedd's 26-year-old dolphin named "Tique" on June 3. Tique's female calf died late Thursday, according to a press release issued by the aquarium Friday.

"This is an extremely sad day for the Shedd Aquarium family," said Shedd's president and CEO Ted A. Beattie in the release. "Over the last week, our expert marine mammal and veterinary staffs provided around-the-clock care for the calf. From the moment the calf was born, they worked tirelessly to provide Tique and the calf with the best possible care. It has been a difficult loss for us."

The release says an animal autopsy performed on the calf revealed nothing conclusive. Officials say the exact cause of death may never be known.

The calf's father, "Lii," resides at the Miami Seaquarium. The calf was 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.

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