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Coolest New Baby

07/03/2015 11:10PM ● Published by Nancy Babin

Gallery: Gulfarium [3 Images] Click any image to expand.

Meet Kaya

Gulfarium Marine and Adventure Park 
1010 Miracle Strip Pkwy SE
Fort Walton Beach
850-243-9046

It's a Girl! 

Gulfarium Marine Adventure Park is thrilled to announce the birth of a female Atlantic bottlenose dolphin calf born April 29th to 12-year-old resident Lily.  The birth of the calf marks a significant Gulfarium milestone as a third-generation dolphin born at the park.

Following 52 weeks of gestation and one hour of  labor, Lily delivered the light grey calf in the early morning hours under the watchful eyes of Gulfarium's animal care staff. Aided by Lily's mother, Delilah, the calf quickly surfaced for its first breath and began to swim with the females, saving its own energy as they do by drafting alongside. 

The new calf has been named Kaya. While the moniker has several associations, in Japanese the name means "flower," a nod to Kaya's mother, Lily, named for the Easter Lily flower. Spelled alternately, Kaia in Hawaiian means "the sea." 

"Like many others in the community, I've been coming to the Gulfarium for decades and have enjoyed getting to know the dolphins, particularly Delilah, the matriarch," says Will Merrill, president of the Gulfarium. "Now she's a grandmother to Kaya, and it's incredible to see three generations of dolphins." 

In the first few weeks, both Lily and Delilah have shared in the maternal duties such as care and nursing. As a first-time mom, Lily continues to depend on the assistance of Delilah. As commonly observed in seafaring dolphins, additional females within the pod offer support, even demonstrating spontaneous lactation. 

The Gulfarium invites the public to come out and see Kaya on view in the main dolphin habitat. Staff will soon begin Dolphin Calf Chats, special daily presentations that give guests the opportunity to talk to a trainer and learn about the newborn dolphin. The public can also stay tuned via Gulfarium's social media outlets for updates, photos, and videos of the calf's growth and development. 

The Gulfarium also is hosting Shark Week! You'll find lots of special discounts, shark feeding demonstrations, a shark themed bounce house, crafts and more!

Cool Factors: Three generations of dolphins 

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