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.