Ancol Dreamland Park’s dolphin arena welcomed a new member into the sea mammal family with the birth of Spekta on Thursday. The baby dolphin was born at 7:20 a.m. to parents Lily and Charon.
Spekta, a bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus), measured 80 centimeters in length and weighed in at around 8.5 kilograms.
“We named the baby dolphin Spekta, short for spektakuler [spectacular],” Ancol director Budi Karya Sumadi told reporters at the park, located in Ancol in North Jakarta.
Spekta’s birth went smoothly and only took around one-and-a-half hours, said Ancol veterinarian Yus Anggoro Saputro. Spekta is the first baby born to 17-year-old Lily. A female dolphin usually reaches sexual maturity at the age of 9, said Yus, who supervised the observation of the delivery process.
The team of vets said Spekta was in good health, and within hours of being born, the baby dolphin was seen swimming side by side with the mother inside the aquarium at the Fantasea Dolphin arena.
“As soon as the baby comes out, it will reflexively swim up to breathe, and the mother will guide the baby to help it adapt to the new atmosphere outside the uterus,” Yus said. He added his team had noticed Lily was ready to give birth since
“We noticed Lily had lost her appetite since yesterday,” he said.
“Loss of appetite is the clearest sign to look out for in a pregnant dolphin about to give birth.” He added, “We can also observe its way of swimming.
“When the delivery is nearing, the female usually swims in an upright position and becomes less active.”
Yus said Lily had been pregnant for 12 months. However, he said the veterinary team could not immediately determine if Spekta was male or female.
“We have to wait for at least several months to find out,” he said.
With the birth of Spekta, the arena now has a total of 29 dolphins. Spekta becomes the 32nd dolphin born there.
The park’s management welcomed the good news and attributed Spekta’s successful birth to the park’s intensive efforts to breed dolphins.
“The birth of Spekta is a good outcome for our intensive efforts in breeding dolphins over the past several years,” Budi said.
“We will continue with such great efforts.” He said the conservation program at Ancol was a success, despite the fact that breeding dolphins was difficult because the sea mammal was a very sensitive animal.
Budi added that Ancol was planning to establish a conservation zone for dolphins in Bidadari Island.
“We will build a special pool where visitors can swim together with the dolphins.”
Source: The Jakarta Post – February 13, 2009
By Desy Nurhayati , JAKARTA