Thursday, August 28, 2008

Bottlenose dolphin will give birth in Minnesota Zoo

Minnesota Zoo officials brought two female Atlantic bottlenose dolphins to Apple Valley earlier this year hoping they would hit it off with the zoo's lone male resident dolphin, Semo.

The plan apparently has worked. Zoo officials announced Monday that Allie, 21, is pregnant. If all goes well, the new calf will be introduced to zoo guests in 2009.

As a result of her pregnancy, zoo officials have canceled daily dolphin shows effective today so they can monitor the behavior and progress of all four dolphins as a group. Allie's mother, April, is currently undergoing evaluation by University of Minnesota veterinary staff for behavior irregularity. Guests will still be able to see the dolphins from the Great Hall in Discovery Bay.

Allie and her mother April came to Minnesota in January from the Dolphins Connection in Florida as part of a breeding recommendation by a consortium of zoos and aquariums that manage animals collectively.

Quick "Facts about Dolphins"