Beluga babies double at Shedd

December 21, 2009 (CHICAGO) With the help of animal experts, Naya gave birth Sunday to a 5' 6" long male calf. The baby weighs 152 pounds.

Shedd experts separated the two after the birth briefly for observation. They have since been put back together. Officials hope they will bond and begin to nurse.

"Because of the unique nature of the birth and the milestones ahead, we continue to remain cautiously optimistic as the next few days are extremely critical in the calf's life," said Ken Ramirez, senior vice president of animal collections and training in a statement from the Shedd. "Now that mom and calf are together again, we are watching closely for bonding and nursing to take place. We are doing everything possible to care for both calf and mom."

Last week, Puiji gave birth to another calf. Both calves have the same father, Naluark.

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