CHICAGO, Oct. 31 (UPI) — A newborn bottlenose dolphin at Chicago’s Brookfield Zoo died just after birth, zoo officials said.
The male dolphin, born Sunday weighing 40 pounds after a full-term pregnancy, showed little movement and seemed weak, the Chicago Sun-Times reported Monday. The calf’s mother, Tapeko, had progressed normally throughout the pregnancy and had been in labor for 3 hours.
“Normally a newborn calf would need very little assistance from its mother to swim to the surface to take its first breath,” said Mike Adkesson, associate veterinarian for the zoo. “However, Tapeko had to push her calf to the surface and he was unsuccessful in taking a breath.”
The veterinary staff at the zoo attempted to revive the calf, but he showed no signs of life. A necropsy was scheduled to determine the cause of death.
Dolphin viewing was closed to the public Sunday.
“Our experienced marine mammal staff is just devastated as they share a close bond with the animals in their care. Our primary concern now is the well-being of Tapeko, who is being closely monitored,” said Bill Zeigler, senior vice president of animal collection and care for the Chicago Zoological Society.