VIDEO: Shedd Aquarium dolphin gives birth, swims with calf

Still frame from Shedd Aquarium/Sam Cejtin video

On Monday the Shedd Aquarium welcomed a dolphin calf. Shedd staff have shared video of the birth.

The birth began Monday around 6:02 a.m., with the calf’s mini flukes appearing. The birth took 3 hours and 12 minutes, as more than 40 animal care and veterinary staff members “stood rapt,” an aquarium spokesperson said.

The mama dolphin, Katrl, is seen in the video swimming calmly. At times, she pumps “her own flukes to advance the process of the birth,” the spokesperson explains.

At 9:14 a.m. Katrl gave her final push and brought her calf into the world. “As soon as those little tail flukes appear, your heart begins to race, and you know it’s only a matter of time before you are about to witness something incredibly amazing,” Lisa Takaki, senior director of marine mammals, said in a press release. “To watch a dolphin be born is beautiful, but to also see its natural instincts fully take over in a matter of seconds as it kicks its tail to propel its little body to the surface to take its first breath is overwhelmingly emotional.”

Shedd officials say the mom and her calf are both doing well. Read more about the duo here.

The video is courtesy the Shedd Aquarium and Sam Cejtin.

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