Baby beluga whale born at Shedd Aquarium

Baby beluga born at Shedd Aquarium (Shedd Aquarium/Brenna Hernandez.)
August 27, 2012 2:55:31 PM PDT
A bouncing baby beluga was born early Monday morning at Chicago's Shedd Aquarium.

Mauyak, gave birth at 2 a.m. to a calf estimated to be 4 and a half feet long and 150 pounds. Both mother and calf appear to be doing fine and will remain under 24 hour observation.

Mauyak is an experienced mother with other two calves. The calf's father is Naluark, who sired three other baby whales at the Shedd.

"A newborn calf must reach several milestones in its first days and months so we remain cautious; however, the calf has demonstrated incredible progress," said Ken Ramirez, executive vice president of animal care and training at Shedd.

In less than 24 hours after the birth, the calf took its first breath, bonded with its mother and attempted to nurse- all important milestones, according to Shedd staff. As it continues to make progress, Shedd staffers will get a chance to examine the baby and determine its gender.

This calf follows on the successful birth of a baby dolphin by Piquet in May.

The Shedd Aquarium is home to seven beluga whales, including the newborn.

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