After a bit of a rocky start, the Vancouver Aquarium’s new baby beluga whale is bonding and nursing with its mother, Qila.
The calf, which is likely a female and has yet to be named, started nursing early yesterday, about 12 hours after it was born in front of a crowd of around 300 visitors and staff.
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Kent Hurl, spokesman for the aquarium, said while the first-time mother didn’t immediately bond with her baby, they are now inseparable.
“Around 11 p.m. (Tuesday), they sort of passed that milestone together, and it was quite an amazing sight to behold.
“They are physically side-by-side and are nursing,” he said.
“Everybody seems to be very happy with how quickly she’s now taken to looking after her little one.”
Hurl said the pair is still under careful observation, but seem to be healthy and strong.
Qila was born at the Vancouver Aquarium 12 years ago. She was the first beluga to be born in captivity in Canada.
Her calf is the first beluga to be born at the popular Vancouver Aquarium in six years.