A healthy dolphin calf is getting into the “swim” of things to the delight of guests and staff alike at The Mirage. The energetic female calf was born July 17, to Huf n Puf, who was born at Siegfried & Roy’s Secret Garden and Dolphin Habitat in March 2000.
Both mother and calf are doing well. Immediately after delivery, the calf swam unassisted to the water’s surface and took her first breath. The calf, which will soon be named, has quickly taken to her surroundings, is nursing well and bonding with her mother as she closely follows her around the habitat.
“Everyone at The Mirage is thrilled about the new calf and how well she is doing,” said David Blasko, Director of Animal Care at The Mirage. “We invite guests to see the calf and discover how our conservation efforts today will help preserve these beautiful animals in the wild for future generations to enjoy.”
As dolphin calves remain very delicate through their first year of life, the Animal Care staff continually monitors the calf as she tests her independence and explores her new world. While there are several milestones to pass in the coming days and weeks, the team remains cautiously optimistic that they have a healthy new member of their aquatic family.
Huf n Puf, an experienced mother, and her calf are in the Birthing and Research pool which is open to public viewing during the facility’s operational hours. Alongside the new mother and calf are Huf n Puf’s mother and daughter, Duchess and Bella. Together, these females represent three generations of dolphins at The Mirage. Sofi, an 11-year-old female, completes the female pod. The calf’s father, Lightning, is located in another pool.
Siegfried & Roy’s Secret Garden and Dolphin Habitat has earned Humane Conservation™ certification from American Humane, the country’s first national humane organization and the world’s largest certifier of animal welfare and well-being. The Dolphin Habitat at The Mirage also is accredited by the Alliance of Marine Mammal Parks and Aquariums, an international association dedicated to the highest standards of care for marine mammals and to their conservation in the wild through public education, scientific study and wildlife presentations.
Committed to educating guests about the environment, the Sustainability Discovery Center at The Mirage provides information on plastic pollution, marine debris, water facts and how our daily decisions can greatly impact the world’s oceans and animal habitats. Additionally, through Trainer for a Day and VIP Tour experiences guests can acquire more in-depth knowledge about dolphin health and behavior, as well as the Dolphin Habitat’s research projects that aid in the survival of bottlenose dolphins in the wild.
Children take special delight in visiting the dolphins and new calves. As part of a continuing arrangement with the Clark County School District, The Mirage welcomes thousands of young students each year to Siegfried & Roy’s Secret Garden and Dolphin Habitat during school field trips, at no charge, to view the animals up close.