Walking into an aquarium is like entering a magical kingdom. Seeing the beautiful species of fishes and aquatic animals swimming around, resplendent in their colorful coats, happily meandering in their own watery world. The gentle fluidness of their motions is calming and peaceful. The Shedd Aquarium in Chicago is one of these magical places, and their family is growing.
The Shedd Aquarium welcomed its newest member on April 18th, 2016, after 3 hours of labor! Water births are somewhat new in the human world, but of course, in the ocean, it is just birth. Katrl, the mama dolphin kept swimming around while in labor as awed spectators watch her give birth. Not only that, I loved the way the mama dolphin cuddled up with her little one the minute he was born.
The baby dolphin immediately flexed his fins and started swimming, heading to the surface before plunging into the water to explore his newfound freedom and abilities. Watch how Katrl keeps a close eye on her little one, just like human mamas.
This birth is particularly significant as there are only 16 Pacific white-sided dolphins in reputable North American zoological facilities today, which makes Katrl’s baby a valued addition to the meager, but growing population of Pacific white-sided dolphins. This underwater birth also provided the marine community to understand the reproductive and neonatal behaviors of this species better. Well, hurrah for a new baby and what a great opportunity to study these beautiful, gentle, and friendly creatures.