The Georgia Aquarium welcomed a baby beluga whale on May 17.
Whisper, a 20-year-old beluga, gave birth to the calf. The baby weighed in at 174 pounds and 5 feet 4 inches in length. That’s large even for a beluga calf. According to WSB Atlanta, the average weight of a baby beluga is 119 to 145 pounds, while the average length is 4 feet 5 inches to 5 feet 1 inch.
“We are so proud of Whisper and overjoyed to welcome her calf to our Georgia Aquarium family,” Dennis Christen, senior director of zoological operations, mammals and birds told WSB Atlanta. “We will be there right alongside the calf as it continues to grow and learn from Whisper.”
Whisper and the calf are doing well together. The pair are living in separate quarters from the aquarium’s other beluga whales Qinu, Maple, Nunavik and Imaq. Zookeepers will observe the calf who must hit developmental milestones over its first few weeks that are key to bonding with its mother.
“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,” Eric Gaglione, vice president of zoological operations, told 11 Alive.
The Georgia Aquarium is a scientific institution that promotes the conservation of biodiversity around the world. The nonprofit entertains and educates the public to cultivate a deeper appreciation of the ocean and the animals who inhabit it.
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