At the Indianapolis Zoo in Indiana, the Marsh Dolphin Theater is closed and Dolphin Shows are temporarily cancelled but for a really wonderful reason: the birth of an Atlantic bottlenose dolphin at approximately 5am on the morning of Friday, June 3, to mother Nova. Marine Mammal staff believe the calf is a male, and he is doing well so far. He has been nursing regularly and appears healthy. The first photos are in by their own president & CEO, Mike Crowther!
Photo Credit: Mike Crowther
Quiet time is needed for mother and baby to bond during the first crucial days of life. The staff is optimistic, but it's early on in this process, so caution is indicated. Information on the condition of the baby will be posted on their website. It's very relaxing to watch the video of mom and the baby below.
Dolphins are endangered for several reasons, all related to humans. Pollution of rivers, seas and oceans by man is one. Since they are the highest on the food chain, everything they consume creates the highest level of contaminants in their bodies, which weaken their reproductive systems and make them far less resistant to disease.
Our high demand for seafood that leads to overfishing is another. Because they travel the same routes as tuna, a staple of our diet, they get caught in nets. As they struggle to get free they often just get more tangled and die, or may critically injur themseves, so if they do escape, they may die from their wounds.
It's even been found that our party balloons, seemingly harmless when released into the air, make their way to the ocean and are swallowed by dolphins, whales and sea turtles alike.
The Indus River dolphin and the Baiji (a.k.a Yangtze River) dolphin are considered endangered. The Ganges River dolphin and the Amazon River dolphin are currently considered vulnerable. While there now are laws to protect dolphins, a certain amount of dolphins are still allowed within the law to be accidentally caught which impacts the species.