April 11, 2012
Last November, Georgia Aquarium announced that our female beluga whale, Maris, was pregnant and expecting her first calf this spring. Watch and listen as Erika Stuebing, Senior Animal Care and Training Specialist, gives an update on Maris' progress and how the Georgia Aquarium team is preparing for her upcoming delivery.
Maris has been doing very well throughout her pregnancy and has been receiving constant care and monitoring. The typical gestation of a beluga whale can be 14-16 months, and Maris is expected to give birth sometime between mid-April and mid-June. At this time, Maris’ ultrasound exams reveal that she and her calf are both in good health. Beluga whale pregnancies often have a low success rate, however, we continue to be guardedly optimistic for a successful birth.
For the time being, you will continue to see Maris in the beluga habitat. As her due date approaches, Georgia Aquarium will temporarily discontinue viewing of the exhibit as well as the Beluga & Friends Interactive Program.
We thank you for your well wishes for a successful beluga whale birth!
Maureen Flaherty, Digital Media Specialist at Georgia Aquarium