CHICAGO — A whale and dolphin gave birth within hours of each other this weekend at the Shedd Aquarium.
Naya, a 31-year-old beluga whale, gave birth Sunday night. Naya had twins, which is incredibly rare among the species: There has never been a documented case of twins in the wild, according to a Shedd Aquarium press release.
One of the calves was stillborn, and the other is a tiny 66 pounds. The surviving calf is considered premature, a result of being born a twin, according to the Shedd. That calf will face a “unique set of development hurdles,” according to Shedd, but for now the baby is swimming with Naya and experts hope to see the two nurse and bond.
Monday morning, Pacific white-sided dolphin Katrl delivered a calf. Katrl helped the dolphin baby swim to the surface to breathe, and the Shedd’s team has seen the baby and mother swimming together.
Naya and Katrl are recovering normally, according to the Shedd.
The aquarium’s team is providing around-the-clock monitoring to check on the mothers and their newborns.
Notably, the births come just days after another beluga was born at the aquarium.
The babies are behind the scenes for now.
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