A healthy dolphin calf is getting into the “swim” of things to the delight of guests and staff alike at The Mirage. The energetic male calf was born Sunday, July 3, to Duchess, matriarch of the bottlenose dolphin family at Siegfried & Roy’s Secret Garden and Dolphin Habitat.
Both mother and calf appear to be doing well. Immediately after delivery, the calf swam unassisted to the water’s surface and took his first breath. The calf has quickly taken to his surroundings; he is nursing well and is closely following his mother around the habitat and bonding with her.
“Everyone at The Mirage is thrilled about the new calf and how well he seems to be doing,” said David Blasko, director of Animal Care at The Mirage. “The calf appears to be healthy and is maintaining a normal level of activity. There are several milestones we must pass in the coming days and weeks, but we remain cautiously optimistic that we have a healthy new member of our aquatic family.”
Dolphin calves remain very delicate through their entire first year of life, so the Animal Care staff will continue to monitor the calf as he bonds with his mother, nursing and testing his independence.
Duchess, an experienced mother, and her calf are in the Birthing and Research pool which is open to public viewing during regular operational hours of the facility. Alongside the new mother and calf are Huf n Puf, Duchess’ daughter, and Huf n Puf’s daughter, Bella, who was born September 6, 2008. These females represent three generations of dolphins at the resort. The calf’s father, Lightning, is located in another pool.
Plans for naming the calf will be announced at a later date.
The Dolphin Habitat at The Mirage is accredited by the Alliance of Marine Mammal Parks and Aquariums, an international association dedicated to the highest standards of care for marine mammals and to their conservation in the wild through public education, scientific study and wildlife presentations.