We are pleased to announce that one of Shedd's Pacific white-sided dolphins, Tique (TEE-kay), is pregnant as a result of a partnership with the Miami Seaquarium. Pacific white-sided dolphin pregnancies last approximately 12 months. Shedd anticipates the birth of Tique’s calf in mid-May, although the birth could occur earlier or later.
We're thrilled about this pregnancy because there are so few Pacific white-sided dolphins in zoos and aquariums; however, we are extremely cautious in our optimism," said Ken Ramirez, Executive Vice President of Animal Collections and Training. "There are fewer than 20 Pacific white-sided dolphins in North American facilities. Strategic partnerships with organizations like the Miami Seaquarium and other leading aquariums around the world are critical to increasing Pacific white-sided dolphin populations and genetic diversity in zoos and aquariums."
"Our Pacific white-sided dolphins provide meaningful connections with our guests and help educate millions of people about marine life and aquatic issues. Caring for these amazing animals has allowed us to learn vital information about these rarely studied marine mammals, and while populations are not currently threatened, we are able to provide science-based recommendations to protect and preserve marine mammals in the wild," added Ramirez.
Tique, Shedd’s 26-year-old, 200-pound dolphin, was temporarily relocated to the Miami Seaquarium as part of a strategic breeding cooperative. During her two years in Miami, she lived with Shedd’s other female Pacific white-sided dolphin Kri (Cree) and Miami’s three resident Pacific white-sided dolphins, including Lii, the male dolphin who fathered the calf. Tique and Kri returned to Shedd in the fall of 2010.