The dolphin family in the Curaçao Sea Aquarium & Dolphin Academy was recently expanded with the births of two baby dolphins. In March, Ritiña gave birth to baby dolphin Alita. Then it was Tela and Annie’s turn—on April 18 Tela gave birth to a healthy female dolphin and on April 19, Annie gave birth to a healthy male.
The first year of baby dolphins, according to Sea Aquarium staff, is always exciting, but the trainers count their survival rate one day at a time. Now that the newest calves are almost a month old, it is time for the Sea Aquarium to name them. The Dolphin Academy invites ideas for naming the newest members of the family.
In April, Aimee Brown wrote about her experiences with newborn Alita (shown above):
“This is the newest member of Dolphin Academy, Curacao Sea Aquarium. Her name is Alita, and she is the new, one month old baby of Ritiña and Copan. She just received her name last week, by voting of the DA staff and trainers. [. . .] This is a particular miracle for all of us because this is a first time mother. There is usually a very tough learning curve for a new mother with knowing how to guide and nurse a new baby but Ritina knocked this one out of the park! She immediately was a very good guide, helping her swim and turn, and within a few hours was turning and trying to encourage the little one to nurse. We have really never seen anything like it! We are all still pretty much astounded at the natural mothering ability of Ritina. Of course I am particularly proud because Ritina is my primary dolphin, which means I work with her about 80 percent of the time and I am responsible for teaching her new behaviors. Well, that pretty much means I am a grandma! Yea. This photo is from when the baby was 2 weeks old. She is pretty chubby, which means nursing is obviously going well, she has already sluffed her baby skin and has this wonderful color, and she is strong and active, as you can see, jumping and playing.”
For full article, see http://www.rnw.nl/caribiana/bulletin/twee-baby-dolfijnen-voor-jarig-dolphin-academy
See Barry B. Brown’s photo of Alita at http://www.coralreefphotos.com/baby-dolphins-dolphin-academy-newborn-bottlenose/