A new arrival in the dolphin pool!

After months of close observation and careful preparation, our animal care staff and volunteers are happy to annouce the arrival of Jade’s calf! At approximately 9 p.m. on Wednesday, March 10, Jade gave birth to her second calf. At birth the calf was approximately 30 lbs. and 2-3 feet long. The sex of the calf is undetermined at this time.

The calf is very alert and strong, and appears to be healthy. It has been swimming along alongside Jade and Shiloh, a 31-year-old experienced mother, taking synchronized breaths with Jade, and has started to nurse.

The trainers are cautiously optimistic about its progress.  Even with a successful birth and experienced motherly care, some 33% of calves do not survive their first year of life in either ocean or Aquarium settings.

Our animal care staff does everything we can to provide the right habitat conditions, nutritional needs and care for the mother and calf, but their survival depends more on the mother than anything else. Jade is lucky enough to have two other female dolphins in the nursing pool who have been assisting her with motherly duties, and our staff is prepared to help with feeding if necessary.

The new calf joins 10 other Atlantic bottlenose dolphins in the Aquarium pools, including two other youngsters. Foster is Jade’s first calf and will turn 3 years old in September. Bayley is the youngest of the dolphin colony and will turn 2 years old in July. Both appear to be curious about the new arrival but are staying out of the way of the mom and calf for now. 

To allow ample time for the calf and mother to bond, and for the calf to become accustomed to its new surroundings, our amphitheater will be closed for 24-48 hours and all dolphin shows are suspended.  As marine mammal trainers and veterinarians become confident that the mom and calf have had ample time to bond in a quiet setting and are ready for visitors and activity, the amphitheater will be re-opened to the public for quiet dolphin shows and presentations.

Here is a video of the calf’s birth and first few hours of life!

Help us welcome our new calf. TXT the word “ACT” to 20222 to give the new calf a gift! Your $5 donation will help with the care and feeding of the new calf and its 16,000 aquatic friends.

45 Responses to “A new arrival in the dolphin pool!”


  1. 1 Jess March 12, 2010 at 4:00 pm

    I am so excited about this! I am going to school so I can become a marine mammal trainer which has been my dream!

  2. 3 Pinky Sammet March 12, 2010 at 4:07 pm

    Oh, I’m so very happy about it!!! I was anxiously waiting for it!
    Congrats, Jade! And now I’m curious about the gender! :)

    Foster, Bayley and Beau will be happy to have someone new to play with, although Beau is already a big boy, haha.

    • 4 Lauren March 12, 2010 at 7:48 pm

      Hehe, yeah, but Beau doesn’t act like too much of a big boy, I think he still follows Nani around more than I see little Bayley following Chesapeake ;]

  3. 5 Lauren March 12, 2010 at 4:10 pm

    Thank you for posting the video of the dolphin birth. It was very cool to get to watch it with my 4 year old son. He said, “it was funny to see the dolphin looking like she had 2 tails.”

    Thanks for posting this educational experience.

    Lauren, Member

  4. 6 Natalie Culbertson March 12, 2010 at 4:38 pm

    Congratulations to Jade. We wish her the best of luck in bonding with and taking care of her baby.

  5. 7 casey March 12, 2010 at 5:33 pm

    Awesome! cant wait to visit the Aquarium again to see it! (might be a while, though.)

  6. 8 drfjcmd March 12, 2010 at 5:47 pm

    This is a wonderful clip of nature at it’s best – Simply heart-warming.

  7. 9 Kay March 12, 2010 at 5:49 pm

    Welcome to the new baby dolphin. How beautiful to see it swimming with Jade and Shiloh! Here’s to a long and healthy life. Can’t wait to see you soon.

  8. 10 Doves March 12, 2010 at 6:18 pm

    We think the baby dolphin is very cute and would like to see him soon. I think he will grow up to be a very talented dolphin someday! Congratulations Jade and human caretakers, can’t wait to see you all again.
    Madeline

  9. 11 Allan March 12, 2010 at 6:35 pm

    I have great names for the new born:

    Emerald if it is a young lady

    and

    Stoney if it is a young man

    Congratulations JADE,
    Allan

  10. 12 Rachel March 12, 2010 at 7:04 pm

    Yea!!!!!!!!A baby dolphin! Before I wanted to go to the aquarium (don’t know why) but now I REALLY want to go! I wonder what’s it’s gender and what it’s name will be? Also congrats Jade!

  11. 13 Jacob March 12, 2010 at 7:19 pm

    The baby is such a cutie! I like watching the video about her. It’s so cool watching the baby come out! I hope to see another email about how the baby is doing. From, Jacob, age 8
    P.S. I visit the aquarium lots of times and I really like it.

  12. 14 Lauren March 12, 2010 at 7:51 pm

    I’ve been checking every single day for this news ever since I heard about Jade’s pregnancy in December. The video brings tears to my eyes. Although it looks like Shiloh might want to be mom again, haha. In all the footage, Shiloh is between Jade and the baby. Hopefully a new little sibling will give Foster some courage!

  13. 15 Richard W. Henneberry March 12, 2010 at 7:54 pm

    I think the calf should be named Lord Baltimore if a male and Lady Baltimore if a female. Congratulations Jade.

  14. 16 Desiree and Gregg March 12, 2010 at 8:24 pm

    Congratulations! What a cutie! Can’t wait to see the baby in person!

  15. 17 Allison March 12, 2010 at 9:00 pm

    Wow! I wish childbirth were as easy on us humans as that looked. And if only ours were mobile from the get-go. What a great video!

  16. 18 kellbug101 March 12, 2010 at 9:07 pm

    awwwww! its soooo cute!! if its a boy you should name it charlie if its a girl you should name it ruby. i was a the aquarium for my birthday(sleepover with the sharks=awesome!!!)and i saw that jade was pregenent,she was suppost to be due soon and that was on february 20th!!

  17. 19 Dawn March 12, 2010 at 9:14 pm

    We are so excited about the new arrival. The dolphins are so beautiful. We are glad that the birthing went well. My husband and I were attending an event at the aquarium on the night the baby was born. I guess the trainers were right on with their predictions they said they were sure it would be soon. Congratulations to all!

  18. 20 Charlie Hicklin March 12, 2010 at 9:19 pm

    My family and I are very excited about the birth of the new dolphin, I am pleased to say I share the same birthday with the little guy, or girl and think Charlie would be a great name either way.

  19. 21 Barbara March 12, 2010 at 9:25 pm

    I am happy for the new baby dolphin. He obviously has something that a lot of people don’t have, i.e., a family that loves him very much.

    God bless dolphins everywhere!

  20. 22 Kerry March 12, 2010 at 11:26 pm

    This is so terribly sad.

    “Our animal care staff does everything we can to provide the right habitat conditions”. The only right habitat condition for a dolphin is the ocean. It is cruel and wrong to force these animals to live in captivity for the same of running an aquarium. It also shows a distinct lack of educational creativity – there are plenty of ways you could educate the public about marine mammals and how to save the oceans (how about educating people about the environmentally devastating consequences of the fishing industry, for starters?) without forcing animals to live in captivity for the rest of their lives.

    I feel really sorry for this new baby.

    Jess – if you care about marine mammals, don’t become a trainer. By doing so you are perpetuating the cycle that keeps them slaves for the entertainment industry.

    • 23 National Aquarium March 16, 2010 at 12:27 pm

      We understand that there are some who hold that opinion. We are committed to education on the aquatic environment and know from nearly 30 years of experience the educational and inspirational value of getting face to face with dolphins and other aquatic animals. We believe there is simply no substitute for a live experience with animals. Research shows that most zoo and aquarium visitors would never have the opportunity see many of these animals if it was not for places like the National Aquarium. Through live animal interactions, we see our visitors make emotional connections that open them up to learning how to preserve and protect the aquatic world. Every exhibit, program and show at our venues in Baltimore and Washington is designed to connect the public to the environmental challenges around us. Our education programs on-site and in schools, aquatic conservation initiatives around Chesapeake Bay and internationally, fieldwork and volunteer opportunities, and active Marine Animal Rescue Program – even this blog! – help us teach and live those lessons beyond our walls and in our communities.

      Our animal care staff cares deeply about each and every animal that lives at our Aquarium. Our animals receive health care that’s better than the average person’s, and they live in healthy habitats where they are stimulated each and every day through a variety of enrichment activities (there’s more about enrichment posted on the blog as well).

      We hope that this information helps you understand a little bit more about our mission to give people transforming experiences that inspire them to enjoy, respect and protect the natural world.

  21. 24 Sophia March 13, 2010 at 9:29 am

    I think the dolphin is adorable .I wish I was a dolphin and swim with the motherand baby.I can’t wait to go to the dolphin show and see it .Also congratulations jade.

  22. 25 Wendy March 13, 2010 at 10:19 am

    It was adorable to see the new baby swimming with Jade and Shiloh. I can’t wait to see you! Take care and Congrats to you and your human caretakers!

  23. 26 myra hettleman March 13, 2010 at 10:25 am

    AWESOME!!!! Thank you for finding a way to share this with us!

    Myra Hettleman

  24. 27 rebecca March 13, 2010 at 10:28 am

    LOL! I really want to know the gender i hope its a girl! I’m coming back to the natoinal aquarium just to see him/her!

  25. 28 Nancy Quisenberry March 13, 2010 at 10:34 am

    Congratulations to Jade and her baby JC 10. My daughter and I were so excited to learn that the delivery went well. We hope to see you soon, to celebrate the new arrival. Welcome to the world JC!

  26. 29 Nicholas Mann March 13, 2010 at 12:10 pm

    Congratulations Jade and Foster!! Welcome to the world baby dolphin, you are beautiful!! Shiloh, you’re doing a great job helping!!

    My sixth grade class is going on a field trip to visit the Aquarium next week. I hope to share this video with my teachers and classmates before we leave for the Aquarium. This is really exciting news and we look forward to seeing all of you soon.

    Love, Nicholas
    Member

  27. 30 faith March 13, 2010 at 3:30 pm

    Congrats Jade!! is the calf a girl or a boy? SO CUTE!!

  28. 31 Tiffany March 13, 2010 at 9:39 pm

    I heard they don’t have a name for the baby dolphin yet, but since the mother’s name is Jade, a name like Emerald or Ruby would be perfect!

  29. 32 Sophie Gibson March 14, 2010 at 3:37 pm

    I is so cute and so tiny!

  30. 33 Tyler C - 6 years old March 14, 2010 at 7:21 pm

    Jade looked like a vampire dolphin when the baby was popping out.

    The baby is cute though.

    Good Job Jade! We will come see you and the baby calf soon!

    Tyler

  31. 34 josh michele March 14, 2010 at 9:31 pm

    we are so happy about the new arrival. hope to see the happy family soon,thanks for the email. dolphins are beautiful creatures. they need to stop hunting them.

  32. 35 KunSun S. March 15, 2010 at 9:55 am

    Wow!!! I was at the Aquarium not that long ago (haven’t been in a very long time, was before the Aquarium was recently expanded, had a wonderful time) and attended a dolphin show. This is incredible, congratulations Jade on your new baby! Congratulations to everyone who works at the Aquarium on the birth of your newest addition to the dolphin family. I hope to visit the Aquarium when the dolphin shows restart so I can see the new baby dolphin. Let’s hope the survival for this baby dolphin after its first year is good to great since 33% of newly born dolphins don’t make it from their very first year which is a sad statistic. Could someone from the Aquarium explain on here why 33% of newly born dolphins do not make it out of their first year of existence even in an Aquarium setting?

    Thanks and congratulations!
    KunSun S.

    • 36 National Aquarium March 16, 2010 at 12:22 pm

      That’s a great question. The statistic for calf survival comes from research that shows that several aspects affect dolphin calf survival their first year, and that they are especially fragile in their first year of life regardless of whether they are in the ocean or in a zoo or aquarium.

      Dolphins are born in the water and must immediately begin swimming along with the mother, surfacing to breathe, and nursing underwater while staying on the move. That is a lot to do at one time and it is amazing to watch a dolphin calf learn these skills in its first month of life. [how a little warm blooded, air breathing animal can survive in a water environment is a miracle in itself.] These essential activities require a great deal of energy. The sole source of the calf’s energy is through its mother’s very rich milk, which helps it to stay warm and swim through the water.

      Dolphin calves are fragile and relatively small, so little changes can impact their health for better or worse. The biggest factor in calf health is its mother. Mother dolphins must learn how to care for their young, and often do this by mimicking older, more experienced females. If mom is inefficient at nursing for whatever reason, she may have trouble providing the calf with the needed nutrients and care that it needs in its first year of life. The calf’s health can rapidly decline and it will have a hard time surviving. Sometimes older, experienced dolphin moms will lend a hand in raising the young, nursing it and escorting the calf while the new mom learns from watching.

      At the National Aquarium, our dolphin moms give birth and live in a nursery group with our other calves, and they raise the calves together. Jade and her new calf are lucky enough to have two other female dolphins in the nursing pool who can assist with motherly duties. Aquarium trainers and vets are currently observing the mother and calf to make sure the calf is nursing. Our trainers are prepared to help with feeding if necessary but ultimate survival is depends on the mother and other female dolphins.

  33. 37 NoaH and Andrew March 15, 2010 at 7:51 pm

    I think the calf is a boy. I like the calf and would like to pet him someday. The calf is beautiful. Happy spring to the new calf. Congratulations to Jade and the new calf. We would like to swim with the dolphins someday.

  34. 38 rachel March 16, 2010 at 10:47 am

    The baby is SO cute. I also think you should name (if its a girl) her Ruby. That would be really cute and fun.

  35. 39 Lauren March 16, 2010 at 5:41 pm

    I went to the aquarium yesterday and I think I heard the trainers refer to the calf as a she, so I think it’s a female. I managed to catch a few glimpses of the baby in the back in the nursing pool, if you look you can see see Shiloh and Jade swimming together with a tiny, tiny little dorsal fin surfacing with them. Bayley seems super excited about it too… or she’s being her normal self, hehe.

  36. 40 Michelle Murphy March 16, 2010 at 10:23 pm

    I was fortunate enough to visit the Aquarium a couple of days ago, and I got to see the Dolphin Show. I cannot fully express how much this show impacted me! Seeing the intelligence of these animals up close and personal was a truly magical experience. Dolphins are my favorite animals by far, and this exhibit literally brought tears to my eyes. I would personally love for the name to be Cheyenne (if the calf is a girl)! I just think the name is beautiful and unique, like both of the parents. Either way, I feel blessed to have attended this show, and I was inspired to become a dolphin trainer. I really believe that dolphins are the most remarkable animals on Earth. Congratulations to Jade and Shiloh! This family is truly remarkable! Thank you for the opportunity to witness it :)

    Michelle

  37. 41 faith March 17, 2010 at 12:04 am

    The calf is just so adorable!! If the calf is a girl, I think the calf should be called “Aquamarine” or “Aqua” for short since this stone is for March and that’s the time where this calf is born.

  38. 43 A.R.Karthick April 8, 2010 at 4:07 pm

    Aww.. So cute. Stunningly captured dolphin birth clip. Jade, must be one happy mom now :-)

  39. 44 Have a Baby Girl April 11, 2010 at 7:56 pm

    Beautiful calf. I think Dolphins are special, they certainly are smarter than most animals.

  40. 45 shawn chambers April 22, 2010 at 7:49 pm

    you should jewel.


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