A dolphin calf born in the National Aquarium two months ago is being nursed by three “mothers”.
While it is known that female bottlenose dolphins can spontaneously produce milk if a calf is present, the practice is not well documented and aquarium staff are carefully watching the process.
The unnamed calf was born to a dolphin named Jade, who is being helped in her nursing duties by the mother-daughter team of Chesapeake and Shiloh, the aquarium said in a statement issued Tuesday to announce the birth.
Aquarium officials are compiling a list of possible names for the calf, which appears to be thriving.
The three-foot-(90-centimeter-)long, 36-pound (16.33-kilogram) calf is nursing regularly, swimming more on its own and has begun to interact with the trainers and toys, the aquarium said.
Dolphin calves are fragile and not easily handled during their first two to three months of life, and trainers at the aquarium are leaving the nursing duties to its mother and her helpers.
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