The Mediterraneo park at Bahar Ic-Caghaq has announced the birth of the second dolphin to be delivered at its tanks in as many months. It has also announced a competition where it is inviting children to give names to the two newborns.
The second calf , a male, was born on August 8 to Estrella, which, like Onda, which gave birth to a male on July 20, was brought to Malta from the waters around Cuba several years ago. The proud father in both cases is Lucas.
Paulo Pedroli park manager, said the park had put off the announcement of the birth because the first month was crucial and ‘mother and baby' needed to be closely monitored by experts. They were separated from other dolphins during that period and only put in the same tank as the other mother and calf a few days ago.
Marineland Ltd, the company that runs the Mediterraneo Marine Park, has been following a species propagation programme. Veterinary surgeons, trainers, biologists, voluntary workers and the staff at the park had been closely followed the gestation of Onda and Estrella, for whom these were the first births. No other births are planned for the near future.
Mr Pedroli said the park would be reducing the frequency of its shows and instead placing added focus on educational programmes, informing visitors about dolphins.The park now has seven dolphins.
He said that children participating in the naming competition were being allowed free entrance to the park until the end of next month. Adults would pay the reduce fee of €10.50c. The competition winners will become symbolic godfathers or godmothers of the dolphins.
Asked about public reaction to keeping dolphins in captivity - with somebody having complained that this was like a slave giving birth on a plantation - Mr Pedroli said this was a subject which needed to be discussed by experts.