Friday, 26 February 2010

National Aquarium in Baltimore awaits dolphin birth

A baby dolphin is on the way at the National Aquarium in Baltimore.

Aquarium officials say an Atlantic bottlenose dolphin named Jade is expected to give birth by mid-March.

Aquarium staff and a group of 50 trained volunteers have begun around-the-clock observations for signs of labor so they can provide an ideal setting for Jade and the newborn calf following delivery. Careful preparation is important, they say, because in captivity and in the wild about a third of all calves do not make it past their first year.

Aquarium officials say labor signs include reduced appetite, back flexing, side-to-side motions, speed swimming and excretion of milk.

The calf will be the second for Jade, who gave birth to a calf named Foster two years ago.

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