Baby beluga whale and endangered turtles | Baby animals
It seems that the animals in Chicago's institutions have been having a pretty fun 2012. Earlier this week, the folks over at the Shedd Aquarium announced that Mauyak, the resident beluga whale, gave birth to a four-and-a-half–foot, 150-pound calf. According to trainers, a calf must reach several milestones before they feel they can be totally optimistic for survival, but the calf has reached the first few, including taking its first breath, bonding with its mom (sex has not yet been determined), and attempting to nurse. The whales will be off-exhibit, monitored 24 hours by staff, so they can bond in peace.
And earlier this month, the Lincoln Park Zoo announced the birth of 18 ornate box turtles, each roughly the size of a quarter. Population of the turtles, native to Illinois sand prairies, has dwindled in recent years, and the zoo will release these baby shell-toters in a year's time. For now, they're living in mossy enclosures in the lion house.
Check out photos of the new beluga calf and the tiny turtles in the slideshow above, and see the first video of the new calf below.