Newborn Beluga Dies at Shedd

Male calf was born on Sunday, the second beluga birth in a week at Shedd Aquarium

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Shedd Aquarium
    Naya gave birth Sunday with human assistance.

    The beluga whale calf born Sunday at Chicago's Shedd Aquarium has died.

    The second beluga whale calf born in a week, the birth was the first one done with human assistance at Shedd, and only the fourth known in the zoo and aquarium community, officials said.

    But over the past 48 hours, and with round-the-clock care, Shedd staff noticed the calf had become disoriented and seemed to have difficulty bonding with his mother, 20-year-old Naya.

    "This is an extremely sad day for the Shedd Aquarium family," Ken Ramirez, senior vice president of animal collections and training, said in a release.  "From his miraculous birth to the challenges he experienced the hours following, it is clear that this calf would probably have never been born successfully, let alone survived as long as he did, had it not been for the incredible care we were able to give him."

    Last Monday, another beluga whale, Puiji, gave birth to a 162-pound, five-foot, four-inch male calf.

    A whale named Naluark is the father of both newborn calves.  Sunday's birth was the second for Naya.