Dolphin, Piquet, swims with her calfAt 10:34 last night, we welcomed Pacific white-sided dolphin Piquet’s calf into the Shedd Aquarium family. Both mother and calf appear to be doing well. The calf immediately swam to the surface for its first breath, then began to swim and bond with Piquet (pee-KEHT). These are the first of many critical milestones the calf must achieve in the coming days and months; our animal care staffers are monitoring mom and calf around the clock, watching for continued bonding and the start of nursing.

Shedd’s experts are using the knowledge gained through previous births and through the Pacific white-sided dolphin cooperative breeding program to provide the best care for Piquet and her calf. Allowing them undisturbed time together is the most important thing right now. Because of that, Secluded Bay will be closed temporarily to the public. The rest of the Abbott Oceanarium is open and accessible.

The calf was sired by Lii (LEE-ee) while Piquet was at Miami Seaquarium for a breeding exchange. Both Shedd and the Florida facility are part of the cooperative breeding program for this species. Fewer than 20 Pacific white-sided dolphins reside in North American aquariums and zoos.

Watch for more news here as well as on Shedd's Facebook page and Twitter feed.

Read our most recent update on Piquet and her calf.

Karen Furnweger, web editor