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Posted at 4:00 PM ET, 03/22/2010

National Aquarium's dolphin calf dies

By Washington Post editors

Officials at the National Aquarium in Baltimore announed Monday that their 11-day old dolphin calf died Sunday evening.

Aquarium officials are not certain what caused the calf's death. Results of a necropsy performed at the Johns Hopkins Comparative Pathology Lab by National Aquarium veterinarians and Johns Hopkins staff are expected in one to two weeks.

“We knew the high risk that this little dolphin calf might not make it, and we are all saddened by the sudden loss,” said Brent Whitaker, deputy executive director for biological programs at the National Aquarium. “We haven’t received lab results yet, but infection is the likeliest cause based on initial testing, the age of the calf and the speed of its decline. However, without supporting cultures and histology we can’t say this for certain yet or rule out other factors such as genetic abnormality.”

One-third of dolphin calves do not survive their first year of life -- either in the ocean or in aquarium settings, officials said. The dolphin calf was born March 10 to Jade, a dolphin at the aquarium. Jade's first offspring -- a dolphin named Foster -- will turn 3 in September.

By Washington Post editors  | March 22, 2010; 4:00 PM ET
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Dolphins should not live in large fish tanks. They are wild animals and should be in the ocean.

Posted by: MarylandJ | March 22, 2010 5:03 PM | Report abuse

I second MarylandJ.

Posted by: jckdoors | March 23, 2010 8:12 AM | Report abuse

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