Georgia Aquarium Welcomes Beluga Whale Calf

By: AP
By: AP

ATLANTA (AP) -- A beluga whale at Georgia Aquarium has given birth to her first calf.

Maris gave birth shortly after 10:30 p.m. Friday. The female calf weighs only 82 pounds, which is well below normal, and aquarium experts have listed her in critical condition and are caring for her around the clock.

First pregnancies in beluga whales are often unsuccessful in the wild and in captivity. Just after birth, the calf showed signs she wasn't strong enough to navigate on her own and was immediately assisted by divers.

The calf is the first beluga born at Georgia Aquarium. Her parents are 17-year-old Maris and 19-year-old Beethoven. This birth is significant as it's the first calf to be born from parents who were both born in captivity.
AP-WF-05-21-12 2010GMT

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