A male dolphin calf was born to first-time mom Spree at Brookfield Zoo around 6:30 a.m. Monday, Oct. 28.
Shortly following the birth, Chicago Zoological Society (CZS) veterinary and animal care staff intervened to provide neonatal care when they noticed Spree was not providing adequate care for the newborn, according to a news release from CZS.
The first 30 days of life are a critical time frame for neonatal dolphins and account for the largest rate of loss to dolphin populations both in the wild and under professional care, as compared to any other demographic age group, according to the release.
“Animal care and veterinary staff will remain in the water providing the calf with continuous, around-the-clock care and nutritional support,” said Michael Adkesson, DVM, Dipl. ACZM, vice president of clinical medicine for CZS. “The calf is strong and vibrant, but handrearing of dolphins is very uncommon and presents many challenges. We are hopeful for a positive outcome, but this is a guarded situation.”
The Seven Seas dolphin arena will remain closed until further notice to allow staff to provide continuous care for this calf, as well as continually observe Tapeko and her two-week-old calf.
For more information, go to www.czs.org.
Information courtesy of a news release from the Chicago Zoological Society.