Bringing a new life into the world is a special moment that isn’t always shared. But last week, about 50 people gathered around the lagoon of Dolphin Quest Hawaii to witness something that is rarely seen: a baby dolphin being born. It’s doubtful those witnesses had as good a view as you’re going to get as you watch this incredible underwater video of Keo’s first offspring taking its first swim:
Keo, 12, was in labor for an hour before delivering the female calf, whose proud grandmother Pele and aunt Noelani were present for the big event, according to Dolphin Quest Hawaii at Hilton Waikoloa Village. The entire video, though not the entire labor, can be viewed here on YouTube if you’re interested.
The baby dolphin was nursing within four hours of birth. It should be noted that the first 30 days are critical for the newborn dolphin, and trainers plan to continue a round-the-clock watch on both baby and mother.
More from Dolphin Quest:
“The trust shared between Keo and her human crew members throughout the birth of this beautiful baby was extraordinary,” said Dr. Rae Stone, marine mammal veterinarian and one of two Dolphin Quest founders who were present at the birth. “Keo clearly sought out and took comfort and reassurance from her human friends. And she willingly swam up to the dock to allow veterinarians to check the baby’s heart rate with ultrasound during labor.”
“This permitted the veterinarians to assess the baby’s physical condition at a critical time,” Dr. Stone added. “Keo’s delivery at Dolphin Quest demonstrates the amazing bond that is possible between dolphins and humans and the incredible standard of healthcare dolphins receive in today’s public display facilities.”
In case you’re keeping track, the newborn calf is the 18th dolphin baby and the first second-generation calf to be born at the conservation and education-dedicated marine park since it opened in 1988.
Oh yes, about the newborn’s name: That will be determined after the initial 30-day care period. Any suggestions?