One of Tangalooma Island Resort’s favourite wild dolphins, Silhouette, gave crowds a wonderful surprise during the wild dolphin feeding session last night, as she debuted her day-old newborn calf.
The 14-year-old female is already mum to Betts, a four-year-old male who appeared to be over the moon with his new sibling and stayed very close throughout the feed.
At this stage, it is too early for staff to determine if the calf is male or female but they are very encouraged of its wellbeing.
The calf is approximately 80cm, weighing between 15-20kg. It is already quite confident and a strong swimmer. These qualities are very important to observe and are a good sign of the calf’s survival in the wild.
Eco Centre and Dolphin Team Manager at Tangalooma Island Resort, Sue Hassard, said “We can expect to see this boisterous and cheeky little calf quite regularly as it matures.”
“It is typical for the calf to nurse from mum for around 12-24 months and will begin to take fish in the wild when it is around six months,” she said.
“If the calf is female, it will remain with Silhouette throughout its life, whereas if it is a male calf, it will wean itself and wander at around three years of age.”
At this stage the calf is yet to be named, and it is expected that the public will have the special opportunity to name the latest addition to Tangalooma’s family of wild dolphins through an upcoming naming competition.
• Mum, Silhouette, is the granddaughter of Beauty, one of the first dolphins of the program
• The Tangalooma Dolphin Feeding Program began in 1992 and runs every evening at sunset
• The new calf becomes the 12th member of the pod of dolphins that regularly visits the resort each evening