THERE'S A NEW BABY AT GA AQUARIUM & IT WEIGHS 174 POUNDS!
A [not-so-little] bundle of joy has arrived at the Georgia Aquarium Whisper, a 20-year-old beluga whale at Georgia Aquarium gave birth to a calf at 3:17 p.m. on Sunday, May 17, 2020. Whisper’s calf weighed 174 pounds at birth and is five feet four inches in length.
|“We are so proud of Whisper and overjoyed to welcome her calf to our Georgia Aquarium family,” said Dennis Christen, senior director of zoological operations, mammals and birds at the Georgia Aquarium. “We will be there right alongside the calf as it continues to grow and learn from Whisper.”|
Whisper had a long labor, but with assistance from the Aquarium’s animal care and health teams, she delivered her calf. Both Whisper and her calf are getting much-needed rest and time to bond.
Georgia Aquarium’s animal care and health teams are monitoring Whisper and her calf around-the-clock. There are still milestones ahead for the little whale over the next several weeks, which are crucial for its development and the bonding experience.
Georgia Aquariums other beluga whales, Qinu, Maple, Nunavik, and Imaq are all doing well. They are currently in a separate area of the exhibit and will be introduced to Whisper and her calf when it’s appropriate.
|“This birth is important not only for Georgia Aquarium but all accredited zoological facilities. Our hope is to sustain the beluga whale population in North America so future generations can learn about them,” said Eric Gaglione, vice president of zoological operations at Georgia Aquarium. “Throughout Whisper’s pregnancy, we tracked important data about beluga whale gestation that could hopefully make informed conservation decisions about belugas in the wild and their offspring.”|
The full birth story, behind-the-scenes moments, and some surprise details will air in an Animal Planet special this Sunday, May 30, 2020, at 10 p.m. EST. Stay tuned to Georgia Aquarium's Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for updates as the calf continues to grow.
The Aquarium is currently closed to the public. However, they are preparing to re-open with the new COVID-19 safety procedures in place around the middle of June. Once the Aquarium reopens there are numerous factors to consider before opening the beluga whale habitat for public viewing of Whisper and her calf. Although there may be periods when the calf is not visible, they are optimistic that we will be able to see the new calf soon!
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The Georgia Aquarium is located at 225 Baker Street NW Atlanta, GA 30313. They can be reached by phone: 404.581.4000. Tickets can be purchased daily online or by walking up to the gate.
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