Camayan Wharf, West Ilanin Bay Forest Subic Bay Freeport Zone Telephone No. (63-47)2529000 Fax No: (63-47)2525883
Subic, Philippines -- A baby bottlenose dolphin is the newest addition to the Ocean Adventure family, after “Hali”, a first time dolphin mother, gave birth to the calf recently, according to officials of the marine theme park here.
Gail Laule, Executive Vice President of Ocean Adventure, said that Hali’s baby dolphin was born on August 31, 2014 at the Ocean Adventure facility in Subic Bay. “The first 30 days are critical for baby dolphins and our little girl will reach that milestone on Monday.“ She said.
The calf, which is approximately 1.25 meter long and weighs approximately 20 kilos, is ‘’doing just fine. Ocean Adventure expert staff have been working around the clock to assure optimal care for mother and baby. Trained volunteers are recording swimming patterns, respiration rates, and nursing bouts by the baby “, according to Laule.
Hali, which is 12 years old, was revealed to be pregnant during a routine ultrasound last January. After the discovery, plans began in earnest for the new arrival and a special birthing pen and large nursing lagoon were built. Cameras, an observation deck, and underwater lights were installed to enhance monitoring.
Throughout the 12-month pregnancy, Hali spent the nights in the birthing facilities with her best friend, Nala. For the last 3 months, like her pregnant human counterparts, she was encouraged to continue light exercise under the watchful eyes of trainers and veterinarian.
“Hali’s labor and delivery were remarkably easy. Throughout the night she would voluntarily approach trainers and seek a gentle rub down. By 6 am a tiny tail emerged, and 90 minutes later Hali delivered a healthy baby girl. “ Laule said.
She added that “From the moment of birth Hali has been a great mom. She’s done everything right! She pushed the baby to the surface for her first breath, guided her around her new environment, and increased her lung capacity by taking her for progressively longer and deeper swims underwater. Within 4 hours the baby was nursing, an impressive short timeframe for most newborn dolphins. “
Tim Desmond, CEO of Ocean Adventure, said that the company deployed every resource necessary to take care of Hali’s baby because “ As a rule, baby dolphins are very vulnerable. Every scratch on their delicate skin is a potentially lethal source of infection until their immune system develops several days after birth. “ He added that “ They must swim continually to stay afloat with a soft tail that takes hours to become rigid enough for efficient swimming. She will continue to be vulnerable for the first year of life. However, with a wonderful mother like Hali, we have high hopes that this little girl will survive. We’ll continue doing everything humanly possible to ensure a successful outcome. “
Desmond also said that “ At Ocean Adventure our highest priority is the health and welfare of our animals. Our mission has always been to create a natural environment and healthy social system in which our family can grow. Our track record speaks for itself. We have a long successful history of sea lion births – 8 pups in all, with the latest, Coco, just turning 1 year old. Now we have a new and very special member of our family to celebrate! “