Shedd Aquarium

Marine Mammal Experts Work Round-the-Clock to Save Orphan Baby Beluga

Alaska SeaLife Center Bottlefeeding 2b

Four accredited U.S. aquariums have come together in an effort to save a newborn Beluga whale calf which was found stranded in South Naknek, Alaska last week - this is the first time in history that a live calf has been found and rescued in U.S. waters. Marine mammal experts with a combined 125 years of experience from Shedd Aquarium, SeaWorld and Georgia Aquarium immediately answered the Alaska SeaLife Center’s call for assistance to provide around-the-clock care for the calf during this rehabilitation period. The male, 112-pound calf is touch-and-go at this point and considered in critical condition – especially due to his immature immune system, and remains under 24-hour observation.

This is a great example of how the aquarium community comes together to work collaboratively in order do what’s best for an animal in need.

Alaska SeaLife Center Baby Beluga 1

DSCN0923Photo credits 1 and 2 and video: Alaska SeaLife Center. Photo 3: Provided by Shedd Aquarium featuring SeaWorld's Bill Winhall and Shedd Aquarium's Lisa Takaki

Update! Shedd Aquarium's Baby Dolphin Nurses


You might have seen the first pictures of the new baby Dolphin born at Chicago's Shedd Aquarium on Memorial Day HERE on ZooBorns. Shedd's animal health care teams reported that the calf is nursing regularly, averaging about a minute every hour, which is an appropriate amount for a growing dolphin. Mom Piquet's nutrient-rich milk is loaded with fat that helps the calf gain weight. The calf is also learning to slip-stream, a technique where the calf saves energy by swimming in the wake alongside its mother.

“It’s been very exciting the past few days as our animal care team has seen a number of firsts for the calf,” said Ken Ramirez, Executive Vice President of Animal Care and Training. “The calf started demonstrating early signs of important learning behavior, such as mimicry -- after Piquet vocalized, we heard a definitive vocalization from the calf. Although we’re happy to see this progression, we remain extremely cautious as we continue to keep a close eye on both mom and calf’s development during the critical first weeks.”

Nurse 2




Photo Credit: Shedd Aquarium

Here's a video of the baby nursing as they swim.

Read more about the baby dolphin after the jump:

Continue reading "Update! Shedd Aquarium's Baby Dolphin Nurses" »

A Memorable Memorial Day For A New Mother Dolphin

Shedd Dolphin Pup 1

On Memorial Day Monday, at around 10:30pm, Chicago's Shedd Aquarium welcomed a new-born Pacific White-sided Dolphin calf to its Oceanarium. Shortly after the birth, the calf swam to the surface, took its first breath, and began to swim and bond with its mother. The gender of the calf has yet to be determined. Animal care staff estimate the calf to be approximately 3-feet in length and weigh approximately 25-pounds. While mother and calf appear to be doing well, this is a critical time for both, and aquarists will monitor them around the clock for several months.

In 1993, the United Nations banned certain types of fishing nets that had previously caused the unnecessary deaths of thousands of these intelligent sea creatures. Pacific White-sided Dolphins are still killed needlessly by Japanese hunting drives.

Shedd Dolphin Pup 3

Shedd Dolphin Pup 9
Photo credit: Shedd Aquarium

Piquest and her calf swimming


A video of Shedd's Beluga whale family watching Piquet and her calf


More photos and information about the birth beneath the fold...

Continue reading "A Memorable Memorial Day For A New Mother Dolphin" »

Happy Birthday Baby Beluga!

Today Shedd Aquarium's baby Beluga calf, Nunavik, turns one year old! A healthy, happy and playful little tyke of 450 lbs., it's hard to believe that Nunavik almost did not survive his first day. Complications with the birth were overcome by Shedd's outstanding veterinary staff. Today Nunavik loves nothing more than mimicing the antics of mom, Puiji, and enrichment time with Shedd aquarists.

Baby Beluga Nunavik Shedd Aquarium 1

Baby Beluga Nunavik Shedd Aquarium 1

Baby Beluga Nunavik Shedd Aquarium 1

Baby Beluga Nunavik Shedd Aquarium 1Photo credits: Shedd Aquarium

See Nunavik's newborn photos here and check-out Shedd's Facebook page for many more baby beluga pictures and ongoing updates.

Continue reading "Happy Birthday Baby Beluga!" »

Rare Human Assisted Beluga Birth at Shedd: Second Calf in a Week!

Chicago's Shedd Aquarium welcomed its second healthy baby Beluga calf in under seven days. The 152 lb. calf was born with human assistance by animal health and care experts presumably after it appeared that the birth was not progressing smoothly on its own. According to Shedd, this is only the fourth time a Beluga calf has been successfully birthed after human assistance was required in any aquarium.

Naya second baby beluga birth Shedd Aquarium

Sad Update: This baby beluga calf passed away shortly after this announcement. The baby exhibited some strange behavior soon after the birth and despite the best efforts of Shedd's incredible animal health and care experts, it could not be saved. ZooBorns extends its condolences to Shedd Aquarium and its heartbroken staff.

Continue reading "Rare Human Assisted Beluga Birth at Shedd: Second Calf in a Week!" »

Baby Beluga at Shedd Aquarium

At 6:36 AM yesterday morning, Chicago's Shedd Aquarium welcomed a bouncing baby beluga calf to 23 year old mother, Puiji! Approximately 5' 4" long and 162lbs., the calf has been determined to be male. For many baby animals, the first few hours, days and even weeks are a critical period and during this time the calf will be under 24 hour observation and the beluga enclosure, Secluded Bay, will live up to its name, off limits to everyone except marine mammal staff. This will provide mother and calf time to bond. In the meantime, you can enjoy these brand spanking new baby beluga pictures courtesy of Shedd. 

Baby Beluga Calf Shedd Aquarium 1 rsa 

Baby Beluga Calf Shedd Aquarium 2 rs

Watch the actual birth! Note that this is a tiny bit graphic for the particularly squeamish.


Additional information and the latest updates available on Shedd's website!

Penguin Chicks in the Palm of Your Hand

The Shedd Aquarium’s newly hatched Magellanic penguin chicks are small enough to fit into your cupped hands — for now, anyway. These chicks are between 15-24 days old and once full grown will be settled in the renovated penguin habitat in the Oceanarium’s new Polar Play Zone exhibit.

Penguin Chick Shedd Aquarium 3 rs

Penguin Chick Shedd Aquarium 1 rs

Penguin Chicks Shedd Aquarium Group Photo rs

Penguin Chick Shedd Aquarium 2 rs

These fast-growing penguins triple in size during their first week. Magellanic penguins can grow to be around 27 inches high and weigh seven to nine pounds.