VIDEO: Discovery Cove welcomes 5 dolphin calves

ORLANDO, Fla. (WFLA) – Discovery Cove nursery is a busy place these days! Five bottlenose dolphins were born there within one month of each other.

The sister park of SeaWorld Orlando welcomed the five babies in August and the first week of September. Each calf weighed approximately 35 pounds and measured about 43 inches in length at birth, the park staffers said. The babies each nurse for several minutes every hour and get all of their nutrition from their mothers’ milk.

The babies are:

  • Kona, a girl, was born August 3 to mom Roxy;
  • Titan, a boy, was born August 6 to mom Calypso;
  • Nero, a boy, was born August 7 to mom Nueces;
  • Star, a girl, was born August 14 to mom Stella; and
  • Storm, born September 2 to mom Hailey.

Storm’s gender has not yet been determined.

“An animal birth is a very special time for our team, and having five babies at once is remarkable,” Discovery Cove Animal Trainer Gina McDaniel said.  “The last time we had this many new babies was 2009, so this is an exciting time for our dolphins and our animal care team.”

The news moms keep a close watch on the babies, swimming next to them, creating a ‘slip stream’ – a wake in which the calves can swim easily. Within hours after the birth, the babies’ tails and dorsal fins which are soft at first stiffen up and the calves learn how to swim on their own.

The calves will stay close with their moms for some time but soon they will be able to interact with each other and meet other dolphins.

“We are in a unique position to be able to document dolphins’ physiological and behavioral traits up-close, which adds to the collective body of knowledge regarding their calving, nursing and care-taking habits,” McDaniel said.  “This information is especially valuable to researchers and rescue organizations working with them in the wild.”

 

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