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Dolphins and its calves swimming under the water.

Visitors Have Rare Opportunity to Observe Dolphin Moms and Calves while Supporting Vital Marine Mammal Conservation Efforts

Sandys, Bermuda – (July 15, 2020) – Dolphin Quest Bermuda is excited to announce the birth of two baby dolphins. After a 366-day pregnancy, Brighton gave birth at 8:06am ADT on Tuesday, July 7, and Ely gave birth after a 377-day pregnancy at 7:42pm ADT on Wednesday, July 15 under the watchful eyes of the Dolphin Quest animal care team. Both pregnancies were closely monitored with diagnostic ultrasound.

As with any newborn, the first weeks are critical. Our animal care team will continue to closely monitor moms and calves around the clock.

Through voluntary participation in Dolphin Quest’s collaborative University level scientific studies, these mothers and calves are helping scientists better understand the increasing pressures on wild dolphin populations. Dolphin Quest has documented and published normal fetal growth charts as well as normal neonatal physiology, behavior and development. This baseline information is shared with oceanariums, zoos and aquariums around the world and is being used by field biologists studying the impact of pollution on wild dolphin reproduction.

While the Dolphin Quest team has observed successful dolphin births over the years, most people have never seen a newborn dolphin calf up close, watched the dolphins’ social group care for a young calf or observed how the dolphin nurses while swimming underwater. Dolphin Quest is inviting visitors to witness this very special time in a dolphin’s early development and to join its efforts to better understand and improve the odds for wild dolphin babies.

Click here for more information on our Discover Baby Dolphins Program

“Reproduction and calf-rearing is important for dolphin welfare. It is a natural and enriching social behavior for dolphins in the wild and in modern zoos, aquariums and marine life parks”, says Dr. Holley Muraco, Ph.D., Marine Mammal Reproduction Specialist. “Accredited facilities like Dolphin Quest have excellent reproductive success which leads to long-term population sustainability and eliminates the need for collection from the wild.”

To date, Dolphin Quest has generated over $5,000,000 in support for vital marine mammal conservation, which is made possible through guest participation in its interactive programs.    These successful births help ensure that we have healthy populations for continued conservation studies. Last year, visiting scientist Dr. Jason Bruck of the Oklahoma State University began a new study at Dolphin Quest Bermuda on the dolphin’s field of vision to help improve guidelines to prevent human-caused boat injuries to wild dolphins. Dr. Bruck explains, “This ongoing study will also provide biologists with new drone technology to safely collect non-invasive hormone samples from wild dolphins providing further insights into their reproductive status. The critical vision data collection and drone development taking place at Dolphin Quest, would be impossible to conduct in the wild”.

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About Dolphin Quest

Dolphin Quest is an international organization founded and operated by two marine mammal veterinarians and known for its creative approach to education, commitment to ocean wildlife study and exemplary animal health care. The interactive programs featured at Dolphin Quest promote a spirit of connection to the marvels of the oceans and inspire people to care about and help protect marine wildlife.

Dolphin Quest is accredited by the Alliance of Marine Mammal Parks and Aquariums and Humane Certified by American Humane.

Dolphin Quest has contributed over $5,000,000 in funding, resources and field support to vital marine scientific studies around the globe. Dolphin Quest’s research support has resulted in over a hundred and thirty published peer reviewed scientific studies. Click here for more information about Dolphin Quest sponsored scientific studies.