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Shedd dolphin expecting 1st calf this spring

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CHICAGO — Chicago’s Shedd Aquarium says one of its dolphins is expecting a calf in the next few months.

Shedd said Monday that its 28-year-old Pacific white-sided dolphin Katrl is pregnant and currently in its third trimester. The dolphin’s estimated due date is some time in late spring, the aquarium said.

This is the first time Katrl has been pregnant. The news comes after another Shedd dolphin, Piquet, gave birth to a calf in June.

The aquarium says Katrl’s pregnancy has been “progressing normally” and that the mother is healthy.

“We are feeling very positive, however we know that first time pregnancies both in human care and the wild are often unsuccessful,” Dr. Bill Van Bonn, the aquarium’s vice president of animal care, said in a statement. Bonn added that Katrl has spent time with Piquet and her two calves, which should “be very helpful for her own birth experience.”

According to Shedd’s statement, the Chicago aquarium is one of only four accredited institutions in North America caring for Pacific white-sided dolphins. The facility says the pregnancy is important both for the dolphins’ population as well as the opportunity for studying the animals.

Pacific white-sided dolphins are known for their black backs, gray sides and white bellies, the aquarium says. They are found in the cool waters of the North Pacific Ocean.

Check out some photos of Katrl in the gallery above.

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