Tags: baby | beluga | whale | georgia | webcam | birth

Baby Beluga Whale in Georgia Born Live on 3-Hour Webcam Broadcast

By    |   Friday, 15 May 2015 04:00 PM

A baby Beluga whale was born at the Georgia Aquarium on Mother’s Day, and a webcam recorded the three-hour event for audiences everywhere.

Dr. Tonya Clauss, director of animal health at the Atlanta, Georgia, aquarium, said on a video of the birth that Maris, a 20-year-old Beluga, is now the mother of a healthy female calf.



Initial indications that the baby whale would be born became apparent Saturday night when volunteers who had been watching around-the-clock for the birth saw the calf’s flukes, or tail fin, protruding from Maris, Clauss said.

“And then it was really a watching and waiting kind of game, where we just had to let Maris do what was natural, and just be there for her,” she said. “During the three-hour process that Maris went through, there were definitely times where we saw significant signs of contractions and Maris certainly feeling uncomfortable. And she was able to get the calf out at different stages; certainly it doesn’t just all happen at one time."

“Ultimately, at 1:25, she gave a significant push after taking a big breath at the surface, and the calf came out and thankfully, it was able on its own swim very, very fast up to the surface to take its first breath of life,” Clauss said.

That quick swim to take its first breath was one of the significant milestones Clauss and her staff were watching for to make sure the baby Beluga was healthy.

“We were just thrilled to see that take place,” she said.

After that first swim, the mother Beluga helped keep the calf near the surface, and the bonding occurring between the two was another milestone that has been achieved, Clauss said.

The calf weighs about 126 pounds and measures 59 inches long, according to the aqaurium.

The Beluga habitat is closed to give Maris and the calf privacy, Clauss said. Baby Beluga lovers can keep up with the calf on social media:


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A baby Beluga whale was born at the Georgia Aquarium on Mother’s Day, and a webcam recorded the three-hour event for audiences everywhere.
baby, beluga, whale, georgia, webcam, birth
351
2015-00-15
Friday, 15 May 2015 04:00 PM
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