Birth of Beluga Whales comes on Mother’s Day at Georgia Aquarium

Birth of Beluga Whales comes on Mother’s Day at Georgia Aquarium

Birth of a beluga whale has marked the first to born to parents bred in captivity at the Georgia Aquarium. The birth took place on a very special day, Mother’s Day.

The baby whale was born at 1:25 am and weighed 126.5 pounds and measured 59 inches at the time of birth. Aquarium staff was happy knowing that the condition of the mother, Maris, was good after giving the birth to the baby whale. The birth was a concern for the staff because Maris failed to give birth in 2012 and the calf was born being a scant 82 pounds. It died several days later despite many life-saving efforts made by the staff.

Greg Bossart, senior vice-president and chief veterinary officer at the aquarium, explained all the complexities a female whale has to go through while giving birth.

He said the task is really challenging as the birth takes place under water and the newborn is required to surface immediately for their first breath. There is always a risk of drowning attached to them and they have to be fast enough to ensure their survival.

The aquarium staff worked brilliantly to ensure the latest calf of Maris quickly made it to the surface.

“She was attempting to nurse only four hours after she was born, which is a strong sign”, said Eric Gaglione, director of zoological operations at the aquarium. Supplementary feedings are also being provided to the baby. The staff is obtaining the feedings from Maris using a colossal breast pump to extract the milk. The staff is optimistic about the survival chances of the calf.

The calf will have to master her watery surroundings over the course of the next month with support of the staff from the Georgia Aquarium.