Back in August, we here at Animal Tracks were cheered to announce the birth of a bouncing baby beluga whale at Shedd Aquarium in Chicago. At the time, no one knew the gender of the baby; he or she was being allowed to bond with mom without any physical interaction with human handlers.
The time finally arrived for the whopping infant to receive a physical examination, and on Tuesday aquarium officials issued a happy announcement: It’s a girl!
The female beluga calf will make her public debut with her mother, Mauyak (pronounced “MAH-yak”), at 11 a.m. on Friday, Oct. 26. Aquarium guests should have plenty to see: The 5-foot-long calf already weighs more than 205 pounds and has been gaining 12 to 15 pounds a week.
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