Four generations of dolphins are swimming at The Mirage after its habitat welcomed a baby girl this month, born to first-time mother Bella. Siegfried & Roy’s Secret Garden and Dolphin Habitat announced Wednesday that the yet-to-be-named baby girl was born Aug. 16 to her 11-year-old mother. She weighed less than 30 pounds and was about 2 feet long.
After a year of gestation, all the females in the nursery pod are ready to take on the job of raising her.
“When a mother is expecting, other females may spontaneously start to lactate,” said the habitat’s education supervisor, Robert Roozendaal. “I don’t know if it’s Mother Nature’s way of preparing for it and making sure everyone is prepared, but it takes a village.”
The calf will stay close to Bella until she can “control her own body” and swim on her own, and a team of researchers will monitor their progress nonstop for the next few weeks, he said.
“Much of what we know about the common bottlenose dolphins is due to what we’ve learned from our facility,” he said.
The baby girl was able to meet her great-grandmother, 44-year-old Duchess, who has lived 15 years past the average life expectancy. Even she can feed the baby, Roozendaal said.
Roozendaal encourages residents to stop by and learn about dolphins.
“They learn about the animals and what they can do to ensure these creatures stay around,” he said.
Visitors can view the new dolphin and her family at the habitat daily between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. Tickets cost $22.