Dolphin at Chicago's Brookfield Zoo is pregnant


By Liz Hoffman

Web Editor

An ocean mammal is on its way to Chicago ... and we're not talking about the "Whales: Giants of the Deep" exhibit that lands at the Field Museum this weekend.

Tapeko, a 29-year-old dolphin at the Brookfield Zoo, is pregnant and due to give birth mid-fall, zoo officials confirmed today. The proud (we assume) papa is 28-year-old Chinook, another member of the zoo's dophin pod.

The calf will be the third for Tapeko and will join Spree, 8; Tatem, 7; and Nea, 3, along with Tapeko and Chinook.

Tapeko is the only one of the zoo's dolphins to have give birth yet, and staff says she'll continue to provide "flippers-on" training for the rest of the group.

"As an experienced mother, she will demonstrate crucial calf-rearing skills for the other females in the dolphin group," says Rita Stacey, the zoo's curator of marine mammals.

The announcement comes as the Society readies for a celebration of 50 years of dolphins. The
"Decades of Dolphins" event takes place May 21 and 22 and will include music from the 1960s to the present, special dolphin presentations, retro games, and crafts for kids.

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