The new mother is a 28-year-old Pacific white-sided dolphin named Katrl
With help from its mom, the newborn swam to the surfacefor first breath
In the early hours of Monday morning, a newborn dolphin took its first breath of air at the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago.
Guided by its mother, the three-foot-long baby was able to reach the surface just moments after it came into the world, marking an milestone of the birth.
The Pacific white-sided calf is the first for new mother Katrl, who is nearly 29 years old, and experts at the aquarium say she's already proven to be attentive.
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The small 'flukes' - the dolphin's tail - appeared at 6:02 a.m.CT, beginning a labour that lasted over three hours, according to the Shedd Aquarium.
Katrl circled her Secluded Bay habitat, occasionally crunching or pumping her body, and even surfacing for a snack or attention from the staff who stood nearby.
At 9:14 the three-foot-long, 25 pound baby finally emerged.
'As soon as those little tail flukes appear, your heart begins to race, and you know it's only a matter of time before you are about to witness something incredibly amazing,' said Lisa Takaki, senior director of marine mammals at Shedd, who also remarked that the newborn was 'perfect.'
'To watch a dolphin be born is beautiful, but to also see its natural instincts fully take over in a matter of seconds as it kicks its tail to propel its little body to the surface to take its first breath is overwhelmingly emotional.'
More than 40 staff members, including animal care and veterinary teams, observed the remarkable event and stood by in the moments afterward as the pair began to bond.¿Oh , It¿s Perfect! ¿¿Smooth Birth, Strong Calf for Katrl | Shedd Aquarium