Dolphin Discovery is pleased to welcome the newest member of our dolphin family, the newborn baby of mom “Frida”, born Tuesday August 14th around 7 am in Cozumel. I asked Alejandro Mata, our superstar trainer of trainers for the details and he gave me a full report!
Our expert team of veterinarians, biologists and trainers started monitoring Frida closely for 15 days before the expected day of birth. Through ultrasounds, the team can predict the birth date based on the distance between the pectoral fins, similar to how human babies are measured by their skull size. It is incredible how accurate the predictions are!
The newborn baby of Frida was born in the early hours of August 14th, with a natural and very quick birth. Baby came out tail first as is natural in dolphins, and was “folded like a taco”. The friction of the water helped “unfold” the newborn and they began to propel themselves through the water. Like all mammals, the baby is protected by a placenta in the womb (for 12 months in the case of dolphins), Frida expelled the one meter long sac at 9:30 am. The gender of the baby is still unknown, the team does not want to enter the water to check as they wish to avoid interfering with mother and child as much as possible. As with all baby dolphins, the skin is a very dark, almost black color, but as the skin renews every two hours, it will change to the silver-grey color of older dolphins.
The newborn had their first taste of mother’s milk at 11:30 am, an important event as the first milk consists of colostrum, a vital substance containing antibodies and defenses as well as important fats. Since the first sip, the baby hasn’t stopped, feeding 6 to 9 times every half hour for 6 to 8 seconds. The frequency will drop but the feeding times will grow longer as baby gains more experience.
The baby is breathing normally, matching the mother’s breaths exactly. Right now they move in rhythm and the baby is a shadow to Frida. She is teaching her little one to swim, breathe, turn and sleep, and the baby does exactly as she does, down to breathing at the same time, 22 to 28 times every ten minutes.
The Dolphin Discovery team is on constant watch for the next month, monitoring the baby’s every move, 24 hours a day and maintaining a log of feeding times, distance from mother (currently stuck to her side), breathing of mother and baby and how the baby feeds (from one or both mammary glands). The data is analyzed in graphic form to determine that everything is within normal parameters and we are happy to report that all is well!
Frida is a great mom (she has one previous birth, her son Charly who is thriving in our Riviera Maya facility) and we know that she will take great care of this beautiful new addition. Big congratulations to the Dolphin Discovery team on yet another healthy birth, the controlled reproduction program is a great success and something we are all very proud of. Big dolphin kisses to Frida and the wee one!
Leave a comment of congratulations and we will share your thoughts with the team and the dolphins! Please see our baby dolphin Flickr set for more photos and share the cuteness with your friends!