The World's Largest Aquarium Awaits Rare Birth

Christine CrowleyStarred Page By Christine Crowley, 12th Apr 2012 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Travel>North America>United States>Georgia

A rare Beluga Whale is expecting any day now. She conceived without artificial insemination which is rare for Belugas in captivity. Soon the pitty-pat of little feet - I mean fins, will be on display at The Georgia Aquarium.

Beluga Whales

Maris, the Beluga Whale, is pregnant. She is coming to the end of a 14-month pregnancy and is expected to give birth in June. The newborn could weigh up to 50 pounds. Newborn calves don't often survive with first-time mothers but aquarium officials are working to train Maris how to be a mom .... to nurse and care for her baby.

"It's all in an effort to desensitize her so when the birth is ongoing, it's nothing out of the ordinary for her," said William Hurley, chief animal officer at the aquarium. Aquarium officials have plopped divers into the cold water tank at 3 a.m. to help Maris get accustomed to visitors in the middle of the night in case she goes into labor after hours. Dim lights are left on in the tank at night so that Maris, who is used to darkness, isn't bothered by the change.

They are also training her to present her mammary glands to different objects so that she is more likely to nurse the baby.

The Georgia Aquarium

Funded mostly by a US$250 million donation from Home Depot co-founder Bernard Marcus, the aquarium was built on a 20-acre (8.1 ha) site north of Centennial Olympic Park in downtown Atlanta. Marcus credited his 60th birthday dinner at the Monterey Bay Aquarium in 1990 among the inspirations behind his desire to build an aquarium in Atlanta.

The Georgia Aquarium, located in Atlanta, Georgia, United States, at Pemberton Place, is the world's largest aquarium with more than 8.5-million-US-gallon (32,000 m3) of marine and fresh water housing more than 120,000 animals of 500 different species. The aquarium's notable specimens include four young whale sharks, four beluga whales, eleven Bottlenose dolphins, three Great hammerhead sharks, and four manta rays.

Four young whale sharks are also in residence - the only aquarium outside of Asia to have whale sharks in residence.

The Georgia Aquarium is proud of what they have learned from Belugas in the wild and in captivity to help the species survive and thrive.

I hope you will be able to visit this aquarium. Happy traveling.

Tags

Atlanta, Beluga Whale, Georgia, The Georgia Aquarium, Travel, United States

Meet the author

author avatar Christine Crowley
I am retired from a community college and working part-time. I've always loved to write and find it rewarding.

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Comments

author avatar Delicia Powers
12th Apr 2012 (#)

super duper Christine!...just a fantastic page:0)

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author avatar Christine Crowley
12th Apr 2012 (#)

Thank you do much

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author avatar 7979barb
12th Apr 2012 (#)

What a good article. I wish them success. I would love to visit the Atlanta aquarium now that I have read this article. Glad they are getting the support that they need to operate.

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author avatar Christine Crowley
12th Apr 2012 (#)

Me too thanks for the comment

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author avatar Buzz
13th Apr 2012 (#)

Great article, Christine.

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author avatar Christine Crowley
13th Apr 2012 (#)

Thank you, Buzz. I appreciate the comment!

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author avatar sarosh
20th Apr 2012 (#)

This is really huge

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author avatar Christine Crowley
20th Apr 2012 (#)

Thank you, Sarosh.

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author avatar Jules Castillo
24th Apr 2012 (#)

wish they arent like fishes that eat thier youngs...

nice to hear also that there are whaleshark in that part of the world...we have a lot here in our town

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author avatar Christine Crowley
24th Apr 2012 (#)

Wow, that must be something. We just have mako sharks and, once in a while, great whites.

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