Shedd Aquarium announced Tuesday one of their beluga whales is expecting—the last beluga whale calf born at the aquarium was in 2012.
Mauyak, a 37-year-old beluga whale, is pregnant for the second time (6-year-old Kimalu was her first) and is expected to give birth during the summer of 2019.
“Mauyak is progressing beautifully, and our suite of veterinarians and beluga care team are working in sync to regularly check her and the developing calf,” said Steve Aibel, senior director of marine mammals at Shedd Aquarium. “The beluga whales at Shedd allow people to discover and make connections with an incredible species that lives thousands of miles away, and this pregnancy is no exception. We are looking forward to bringing our guests with us every step of the way and sharing the wonder of beluga whale development.”
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With each beluga pregnancy, and each birth, experts at Shedd are able to observe, document and collect data that adds to our overall scientific understanding of the species, according to a statement released.
For now, the aquarium assures Mauyak will continue to swim with the other belugas, engage with the beluga care staff and guests, and participate in aquatic presentations in the Abbott Oceanarium. The veterinarian team will also visit her for regular checkups, which include video ultrasounds, the statement said.