Sunday, November 20, 2005

Calf born in captivity

Six Flags Marine World has a new addition to the Atlantic bottlenose dolphin family at the popular amusement and water theme park.

A female calf named Mattie was born at the park's Marine Research Center on Oct. 4. She weighed 30 pounds and measured three feet long.

Because the first 30 days of a dolphin calf's life are critical, park staff held 24-hour observations on the 26-year-old mother Sadie and her infant. Park officials said there is a 50 percent survival rate for dolphin calves born in the wild and in marine parks.

Michelle Bridwell, the park's dolphin supervisor, said all signs indicate the calf is healthy and energetic.

Mattie is the second female calf born at the park. Last year a female dolphin named Bella was born and also lives at the Marine Research Center.

There are 15 Atlantic bottlenose dolphins, eight males and seven females, at Six Flags Marine World.

The park re-opens March 4, 2006 but still holds interactive educational programs, Dolphin Discovery and Sea Lion Celebration, during the off-season.

Quick "Facts about Dolphins"