Killer whale gets pregnant in Russia's aquarium for the first time in history

Moscow's Center for Oceanography and Marine Biology, Moskvarium, reported that its killer whale Naya, who lives in the Moscow Oceanarium, is pregnant.

According to the Moskvarium veterinary service, the 11-year-old marine mammal is 15 months into her pregnancy. The calf has all of its internal organs and systems formed.

The orca became pregnant naturally and is to give birth in December.

This is the first time in history when a captive-held killer whale gets pregnant on the territory of Russia.

Naya the orca remains under supervision and receives proper care. Her pregnancy is going well. Killer whales carry their calves from 15.5 to 18 months. They most often deliver at 17.5 months. The baby orca is expected to see the light in December, Irina Suvorova, chief veterinarian at Moskvarium said.

Trainers and veterinarians established a stable and trusting relationship with the whale. A special program of exercises and games was developed for Naya so that she would not feel sad and lonely after the two other killer whales with whom she lived for nine years passed away in 2023.

In the wild, first two calves of an inexperienced female often die soon after birth. Killer whales give birth underwater, and the mother is supposed to push the newborn up to the surface so that the calf could take its first breath.

The entire Moskvarium team hopes that the labour will be successful. People make every possible effort to ensure most comfortable conditions for the baby whale. They have prepared pools and a whale milk substitute for the calf should Naya fail to feed on her own.

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Author`s name Andrey Mihayloff
Editor Dmitry Sudakov