Commerson's dolphin calf dies at Aquatica

Dolphin dies minutes after birth at SeaWorld water park

Ringer the Commerson's dolphin, pictured here, gave birth Sunday, May 21, 2017. Her calf did not survive.
Ringer the Commerson's dolphin, pictured here, gave birth Sunday, May 21, 2017. Her calf did not survive. (SeaWorld Aquatica)

ORLANDO, Fla. – A Commerson's dolphin calf died Sunday night a few minutes after being born at SeaWorld's water park, Aquatica, according to a report from WKMG.

The calf's mother, Ringer, a 16-year-old Commerson's dolphin, was on birth control before she became pregnant.

Before giving birth, Ringer had been under 24 hour observation by her caretakers, according to SeaWorld.

The dolphin gave birth after 8 p.m. Sunday.

"We were all hoping for the best outcome for her and her calf, and had all the support we could provide in place," a statement from SeaWorld read. "The team responded immediately when the calf began to show signs of distress, a few minutes after birth, but unfortunately were unable to resuscitate the calf."

Ringer had four previous unsuccessful pregnancies before she came to the Florida park. She was born at SeaWorld San Diego and was moved to Orlando in January 2016.

“Given her age and the previous unsuccessful pregnancies, Ringer had been on contraceptives for several years,” Park officials said. “This pregnancy was unexpected and our SeaWorld animal care and veterinary teams monitored her health and well-being very closely throughout her entire pregnancy.”

A clear water slide at SeaWorld's Aquatica runs through the habitat that Ringer shares with the park's other dolphins. The breed is known for its black-and-white markings that mimic those of a killer whale.

SeaWorld officials said Ringer is doing well despite the loss of her baby and is still under 24-hour observation. She is not on display at the park.

A necropsy, which is an animal autopsy, will be performed on the dolphin calf to determine the cause of death.

PETA issued a statement earlier this month condemning SeaWorld after news of the dolphin's pregnancy.

"Dolphins in the wild don't need birth control. They can choose their partners, have families when they want to and teach their young to swim and play," the statement read. "Forcing another dolphin to endure a miserable life of swimming circles in a tiny tank is cruel, and it's why PETA is calling on families to stay away from SeaWorld until the park agrees to move all marine mammals to seaside sanctuaries."

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