Baby Beluga in Chicago

The alphabetically superior member of the Bleiman brother duo, Andrew (me), lives in Chicago, where he is lucky enough to have a truly world-class institution in the Shedd Aquarium. On Thursday last week, the Shedd’s resident female beluga whale, Mauyak, gave birth to a plump 100lb. 5.5 ft calf. Shortly after the birth, the calf swam to the surface and took its first breath.

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Enjoy these videos of the birth and baby beluga swimming in the great blue fish tank.


  1. #1 Dennis
    August 24, 2007

    Simply amazing. I had the privilege of seeing the Belugas at the Georgia Aquarium a few weeks ago. One in particular — a male named Nico — went out of his way to keep us entertained. Such beautiful beasts. Thanks for the videos!

  2. #2 Laughing Stone
    August 24, 2007

    It is amazing to watch aquatic mammals give birth. The mother seemed very calm.
    With the belugas so white and the water so dark, they almost look CG. Is that the curse of advanced technology – reality seems fake?

  3. #3 kristen in montreal
    August 24, 2007

    Thank you for posting this! Beautiful video!

  4. #4 Homie Bear
    August 25, 2007

    So beautiful! At the Vancouver Aquarium a few years ago I believe a beluga was born but died shortly after- I hope this one makes it.

  5. #5 Gerry L
    August 26, 2007

    Wow. Amazing video. Thanks.

    HB: Quite a few years ago — 12 or so — a baby beluga was born at Vancouver. I saw it when it was several months old. Hope that is not the one you mean.

    Andrew: In Chicago you’ve also got a world class ape facility at the Lincoln Park Zoo.

  6. #6 Andrew Bleiman
    August 26, 2007

    Gerry – I’m a member of the LPZ Auxiliary Board and spend a lot of time in the Regenstein Center. It’s a great small zoo all around and one of the few free ones in the country.

  7. #7 Carry
    May 8, 2008

    This animals are sooo poor!

    why can?t they be free?

    @Dennis: How can you call them beast?!?!

  8. #8 Neil
    June 12, 2008

    It’s hard to imagine there’s corporations still harpooning these magnificent creatures for profit

  9. #9 Rae
    June 27, 2008

    We have a 3-week-old baby beluga in Vancouver Aquarium now. She is very cute. However, since her mom, Oila, is a firt-time mother and there’s a possibility that up to 50 percent or more of first-time mothered calves don’t survive,the Auarium staff are keeping a close watch on her.

  10. #10 lilly gardner
    December 9, 2008

    omg that is sooo cute im doing a progect on belugas and that iss sooooooo adorabel and i hope that babby grew up to be a wonderful littel one
    <3 lilly

  11. #11 Pat
    May 4, 2010

    So beautyfull … thank a bit late but still … very very nice . 😉

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