UPDATE: Sadly, the baby dolphin died Thursday afternoon (Oct. 8) after her health took a dramatic turn for the worse.
A 26-year-old bottlenose dolphin at the Brookfield Zoo in Chicago has successfully delivered a bouncing baby girl, and the touching moment was captured on video.
The birth occurred at 11 a.m. last Friday, but the footage was not released until Wednesday. The newest addition to the facility’s Seven Seas exhibit measures about 3 feet and weighs 40 pounds. She is said to be healthy and strong.
The announcement of the birth on the zoo’s Facebook page was “liked” by about 4,000 people and shared more than 800 times.
“That was beautiful! I love how she brought the calf up right away for air,” reads one of about 200 comments.
Allie, the mother, went into labor two days before the delivery. Dolphin shows in the exhibit are closed until further notice, so Allie can nurse the calf without interruption, and so other dolphins can get accustomed to the calf.
The birth was filmed in high definition with the use of underwater cameras, which captured the tender moments just before and after the birth.
Among behaviors observed afterward were nursing and slipstreaming, which occurs when the calf rests in a current created by the mother. The calf has not yet been named.
This marks third birth by Allie in the Brookfield Zoo. Two other dolphins in the exhibit, Tapeko and Spree, are scheduled to give birth this fall.
So, it seems, the Seven Seas exhibit is quite the love nest.