Daddy Whale Knocks Up Two Belugas at the Shedd

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    NEWSLETTERS

    That's one whale of a libido.

    The Shedd Aquarium's Beluga bull, Naluark, will become the proud parent of two baby Belugas once his two whale lovers deliver.

    BROLL: Shedd Aquarium Beluga Whales

    [CHI] BROLL:  Shedd Aquarium Beluga Whales
    whales underwater, feeding, doing tricks, (Published Wednesday, Aug 5, 2009)

    That's right, Naluark has two babies on the way.

    "What happens, generally, in the wild with beluga whales is males will swim into groups of females and mate with as many of them as he can and move on to another group of females. So it is very common in the wild for one male to father 10 or 20, maybe even 30 calves in one season.  We just have two," Shedd Senior Vice President Ken Ramirez said Tuesday.

    Do the Females Get Jealous?

    [CHI] Do the Females Get Jealous?
    Ken Ramirez, the Senior Vice-President of Animal Collections & Training at Chicago's Shedd Aquarium, talks about the two pregnant female beluga whales. (Published Wednesday, Aug 5, 2009)

    Both whale mothers-to-be are healthy, and staff at the aquarium remain "cautiously optimistic" about the pregnancies, Ramirez said.

    The whales that are expecting are 23-year-old Puiji and 20-year-old Naya. Both pregnancies are progressing normally, but the father will have little involvement.

    "It's interesting, in the beluga world, the father plays no real role.  He doesn't take care of the calves.  He doesn'tt even realize he is the father," Ramirez said.

    The belugas should be pregnant for between 14 and 16 months, and they'll remain on display at the aquarium, Shedd officials said.

    The Shedd has seven beluga whales in total.