Rare footage of dolphin birth at lagoon released by trainers, watch the calf take its first breath

You may have seen videos showing the birth of a cow or a horse, but have you ever seen the birth of a dolphin? One video that was uploaded to the internet shows exactly that.

In a video uploaded to YouTube on Sept. 12, 2012, by Dolphin Quest, we see a 12-year-old dolphin named Keo, who was in labor for an hour. The dolphin mother was monitored by trainers at the Dolphin Quest Hawaii at the Hilton Waikoloa Village. She was accompanied by two other dolphins, Pele (the new baby’s grandmother), and Noelani (the baby’s aunt).

At 5:10 p.m., the female calf was born and immediately swam up to the water’s surface to take her first breath.

“The baby dolphin began nursing within four hours of birth,” Dolphin Quest, a marine wildlife conservation organization, wrote in the video. “About 50 people gathered around the Hilton’s Dolphin Quest lagoon to witness the rarely-seen event.”

Michelle Campbell, Dolphin Quest Hawaii’s director of Marine Animals, told kitv.com that they were worried about Keo giving birth.

“We were crossing our fingers and our flukes, wishing for the best, not knowing how she’s going to fare with what’s happening to her,” Campbell said. “We let her approach us. We would gently reach out with a hand on the back to make sure they’re OK, you know, a mom in labor and the myriad of emotions she must be feeling.’”

Dr. Rae Stone, a marine mammal veterinarian and Dolphin Quest co-founder who was present at the birth, said that Keo knew that her trainers would help her out.

“The trust shared between Keo and her human crew members throughout the birth of this beautiful baby was extraordinary,” Dr. Stone said. “Keo clearly sought out and took comfort and reassurance from her human friends. And she willingly swam up to the dock to allow veterinarians to check the baby’s heart rate with ultrasound during labor.”

The organization explained that as “the first 30 days of a newborn dolphin’s life are the most critical,” the trainers would need to monitor Keo and her calf “round-the-clock.” Thus, the calf’s name was only decided as “Lehua” after 30 days.

Watch the birth in the video below:

Photo Credit: dqvideos1.

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