Las Vegas welcomes baby dolphin

Updated August 2, 2017 - 1:02 pm

With the brand-new arrival of a new baby dolphin — as of yet unnamed — at Siegfried & Roy’s Secret Garden and Dolphin Habitat at The Mirage, there are now three generations of the beautiful ocean-going animals at play there.

The good news is that the new female calf — born July 17 — is “doing well” because in the first year of their life dolphin calves remain “very delicate.”

David Blasko, director of animal care at The Mirage said: ”Both mother and calf are doing well. Immediately after delivery, the calf swam unassisted to the water’s surface and took her first breath. The calf has quickly taken to her surroundings, is nursing well and bonding with her mother as she closely follows her around the habitat. Everyone at The Mirage is thrilled and how well she is doing.We invite guests to see the calf and discover how our conservation efforts today will help preserve these beautiful animals in the wild for future generations to enjoy.”

Through the first year of her life, the animal care staff continually monitor the calf as she tests her independence and explores her new world.

“While there are several milestones to pass in the coming days and weeks, the team remains cautiously optimistic that we have a healthy new member of our aquatic family,” David said.

“Huf n Puf is an experienced mother, (she) and her calf are in the birthing and research pool, which is open to public viewing during the facility’s operational hours. Alongside the new mother and calf are Huf n Puf’s mother and daughter, Duchess and Bella. Together, these females represent three generations of dolphins at The Mirage. Sofi, an 11-year-old female, completes the female pod. The calf’s father, Lightning, is located in another pool.”

Personally, I am against the “imprisonment of ocean-going creatures in concrete pools” because I believe they should be permitted to swim freely in their seas as they swim so many miles a day but I commend Siegfried & Roy’s Secret Garden and Dolphin Habitat for earning the “Humane Conservation” certification from American Humane, the country’s first national humane organization — and also the world’s largest certifier of animal welfare and well-being.

Siegfried & Roy who make regular unscheduled visits to their Secret Garden have pointed out that their Dolphin Habitat at The Mirage is also accredited by the Alliance of Marine Mammal Parks and Aquariums, an international association dedicated to the highest standards of care for marine mammals and to their conservation in the wild through public education, scientific study and wildlife presentations.

Committed to educating guests about the environment, the Sustainability Discovery Center at The Mirage provides information on plastic pollution, marine debris, water facts and how our daily decisions can greatly impact the world’s oceans and animal habitats. In addition through Trainer for a Day and VIP Tour experiences, guests can acquire more in-depth knowledge about dolphin health and behavior, as well as the Dolphin Habitat’s research projects that aid in the survival of bottlenose dolphins in the wild.

Local children have a special delight in visiting the dolphins and new calves. As part of a continuing arrangement with the Clark County School District, The Mirage welcomes thousands of young students each year to Siegfried & Roy’s Secret Garden and Dolphin Habitat during school field trips, at no charge, to view the animals up close.

Our thanks to contributing photographer Tom Donoghue who was invited yesterday (Aug. 1) to record the early days of the new calf.

A warm welcome to the world, little one! And thanks to Tom Donoghue for his wonderful heart-warming photos. Now about that name. Any ideas? How about Magical?

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