A bottlenose dolphin calf was born at the Brookfield Zoo Dec. 12, according to the Chicago Zoological Society. The male calf was welcomed by first-time mom Allison at around 1:15 p.m., weighing in at approximately 40 pounds and measuring 3.5 feet long.
Following the birth, staff observed key milestones including nursing and slipstreaming, which is when the calf rests next to the mom while she swims. Allison and her calf are living with experienced mom Tapeko, Tapeko’s 1 year old son Merlin and Merlin’s half brother Magic in the zoo’s Seven Seas main habitat.
“We are encouraged with the behavior we are seeing from both Allison and the calf,” said marine mammal curator Rita Stacey. “However, we remain cautiously optimistic as the first 30 days are extremely critical in the calf’s life.”
The exhibit’s underwater viewing area will be closed temporarily to allow Allison and her calf time to bond.
Source: Chicago Zoological Society