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SeaWorld San Diego's Killer Whale mom Kasatka, estimated to be 37 years old, gave birth on Valentines Day to a healthy calf at Shamu Stadium under the watchful eyes of SeaWorld’s zoological team members.
Killer whale gestation is between 17 and 18 months long, and Kasatka’s took the full 18 months. In the mean time, he’s not only spending time with his brother and sister (Kalia and Nakai), but he's also swimming with Corky, Shouka and Orkid. See more pictures of the baby Killer Whale swimming with Mom and the rest of the whale family after the fold. Animal care is Shedd’s top priority, so mother and calf are currently off exhibit in the Secluded Bay habitat of the Abbott Oceanarium. Beautiful footage of the Vancouver Aquarium's baby beluga, which was born earlier this summer.
Just a few hours ago at the Vancouver Aquarium, staff watched breathlessly as 20 year old beluga whale Aurora gave birth to a calf. Any oldie but goody - On August 16th, 2007 the Shedd Aquarium's resident female beluga whale, Mauyak, gave birth to a plump 100lb.
Greetings, NewsWatch readers: this is Tim Binder, the Vice President of Collection Planning at Shedd Aquarium in Chicago. Beluga whales (Delphinapterus leucas) are at the apex of the food webs in their Arctic and sub-Arctic habitats. The beluga whales of Bristol Bay, Alaska, live in an area that is under pressure from development opportunities for offshore drilling, mining, and other natural resources industries. Little is understood about wild beluga’s nutritional needs, population health, or exposure to contaminants. In 2008, Shedd and other leading accredited aquariums and research partners traveled to the Nushagak River which feeds into Bristol Bay in southwest Alaska to test out new protocols to gather information about the health and wellbeing of belugas in this region of the world. Now we are back in the field to resume this project, adding to the baseline information gathered in 2008 to advance our understanding of the health of beluga whales that rely on the Nushagak River for their survival.
As a child, one of your divers used to sneak me behind the scenes, and I spent hours watching Chico, an Amazon River Dolphin, loll in a tank in which he could not stretch-out his body in any direction, let alone swim. There is a growing public awareness that whales and dolphins, being sentient creatures whose primary sense is acoustic, should not be kept in tanks performing circus tricks for food.
The tides are changing, so to speak, and pretty soon one aquarium or marine park will capitalize on the ideas I just proposed.
National Geographic VoicesResearchers, conservationists, and others around the world share stories and commentary on the National Geographic Society's conversation platform Voices. Society Field Inspection 2016: Gulf of CaliforniaDescribed by Jacques Cousteau as the "aquarium of the world," the Gulf of California in Mexico is threatened by coastal development, climate change, and other human activities.
Support National GeographicWe've supported more than 11,000 grants to scientists and others in the field.Learn more about our work. Two years after being discovered deep in a South African cave, the 1,500 fossils excavated during the Rising Star Expedition have been identified as belonging to a previously unknown early human relative that National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence Lee Berger and team have named Homo naledi. With at least 15 individuals of all ages and both sexes represented, the find adds an unprecedented amount of information to our understanding of early human evolution in Africa.

In addition, the absence of any other animal remains or large debris in the fossil chamber strongly suggests that these non-human beings intentionally deposited their dead within this cave.
Peace Eludes Islamic Enclaves of the Philippines: Could Responsible Resource Extraction be part of the Solution? Getting there and getting homeIndividual transfers from Cancun Airport to Isla Mujeres Ferry at Puerto Juarez are available throughout the day on July 20.
AccommodationsWe’ll spend four nights at Na Balam, a boutique hotel located on Playa Norte, one of the best beaches in all of Mexico. Should you develop a fever with a rash, joint pain, or red eyes, talk with your medical professionals and let them know about your travel to Mexico. When you arrive at Cancun International Airport, you’ll be met and taken to our hotel on Isla Mujeres. A private launch takes us to three reefs farther from shore for snorkeling in crystalline waters that are home to moray eels, blue tangs, angelfishes, amberjacks and more. Today you choose: Enjoy all the amenities of our hotel or join our private tour of the unique walled Mayan city of Tulum.
At Shedd Aquarium, animals connect you to the living world, inspiring you to make a difference. Calves typically weigh between 300 and 350 pounds and measure between 6 and 7 feet at birth. Shedd’s animal care team estimates that the calf is 4? feet long and weighs about 150 pounds. During the first few critical days following a birth, Shedd’s animal care experts do not physically interact with the whales. Additionally, the Vancouver Aquarium is asking Canadians to help them pick a name for the little girl.
Like all baby belugas, the calf was born with large wrinkles which disappear over the first few weeks.
For many years, I’ve been involved with beluga whale conservation research in the field and here at home.
These northern environments are experiencing rapid ecological change due to climate change, increased human activity, and resource development. In order to understand how such activities might impact the currently healthy beluga population, we need to gather data that can act as a baseline for future research. Until recently, most studies involving wild belugas used limited information from stranded whales or individuals harvested for food in subsistence communities. These protocols were modeled after well-established techniques developed by beluga care experts at Shedd and other North American zoos and aquariums. The information gathered from these efforts will help us understand impacts to beluga whales from changes in their environment and will help guide efforts to apply the techniques we develop and refine to the management of other more endangered beluga populations elsewhere.
Binder, I apologize somewhat for my initial belligerent tone, but this this issue means a great deal to me. Posters and commenters are required to observe National Geographic's community rules and other terms of service.

To learn firsthand what's going on in and around this marine treasure of global importance, the National Geographic Society sent its top scientists and officials to the region in January 2016.
For the well-being of these docile behemoths, only two swimmers may be in the water with them at a time.
A concern for holistic wellness, the love of nature and the Mayan culture are reflected in this haven of peace and serenity. This mosquito-borne illness is primarily of concern for women who are pregnant or hope to become pregnant.
Back on land, you’ll have time to enjoy the island-wide activities of the Whale Shark Festival. The park’s zoological team members report that mother and baby continue to do well, with the calf nursing regularly from the start. Both mother and calf appear to be doing well and will remain under 24-hour observation by the animal health staff in Shedd’s Abbott Oceanarium. Instead, the team observes day and night, allowing time for the mother to nurture her newborn and build a strong bond.
Unfortunately the mother Orca was not feeding her baby properly so aquarists stepped in to hand feed the rambunctious calf.
Veterinarians, biologists and other experts, watched anxiously over the four hours of labor. As a top predator that relies on sea ice, belugas are vulnerable to being impacted by these environmental disturbances. The small sample sizes have made it difficult to address stress, disease exposure, immune status, hematology and other analyses. We successfully conducted physicals and collected other data on 18 whales and attached transmitters to monitor their movements in the bay.
They toured the desert islands off the southeastern coast of the Baja Peninsula and they listened to presentations by more than a dozen experts, including several whose Baja California research is funded by the Society. Now she’s taking a break from her postdoc conservation work at Shedd to take you swimming with whale sharks, the world’s largest fish! Enjoy the beachfront restaurant’s Mexican specialties and seafood, the full-service spa, and the onsite yoga studio. Moments after the birth, the onlookers were relieved to see the healthy newborn calf instinctively rise to the surface and take its first breath. Researchers are interested to see how the two calves interact and we hope to bring you pictures soon.
It’s also challenging to study wild belugas because of the remote field sites, which are predominated by extreme tides, harsh weather, limited laboratory capacity and expensive logistics.

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