HONOLULU, HI – Hiiaka, an Atlantic bottlenose dolphin at Sea Life Park on Oahu, gave birth to a healthy baby girl on July 6. The baby has been named Waiohakaupo, Hawaiian for joyous life and breath of the waters of Kaupo – the name of the beach fronting the park.
Weighing approximately 40 to 45 pounds and measuring 45 inches in length, Waiohakaupo has been spending her time at mom’s side nursing on a regular schedule around-the-clock under the close care and supervision of the park staff.
“Both mother and calf are doing well,” said Jesus Bravo, general manager of Sea Life Park. “They are happy and everything suits them – their living conditions, the quantity and quality of food, and the love and attention of our staff.”
Sea Life Park celebrated the birth of Waiohakaupo with a special Hawaiian blessing ceremony on Thursday, July 30. “We’ve kept the good news under wraps for a few weeks to allow mother and child the privacy they need to stay healthy and strong,” said Bravo. Starting today, the Park will be offering special guided visits for guests to see the new baby dolphin.
The pregnancy was part of a planned breeding program instituted by Sea Life Park, and once it was confirmed that Hiiaka had become pregnant, immediate care and monitoring was given on a daily basis throughout her one-year pregnancy.
“So far, the bond between Hiiaka and her calf continues to strengthen,” said Jeff Pawloski, curator. “Like any new mother, she’s proud of her new baby, and we are also proud and honored to have her be a part of our animal family.” According to Pawloski, Waiohakaupo was born at 8:26 am after a very short labor. “Hiiaka is an experienced mom and the birth went very smoothly,” Pawloski continued.
The success of the program is a result of a nurturing environment that includes veterinary supervision, nutrition, and a large seawater pool for the mother and baby.
Sea Life Park Hawaii offers a variety of marine-life shows, exhibits, and educational programs for all ages and is open daily from 10:30 am to 5:00 pm. Among its most popular features are the swim-with-dolphin programs. The park is a member of the Alliance of Marine Mammal Parks and Aquariums. Sea Life Park Hawaii is owned and operated by Parques Reunidos Group. For more information, visit the Park’s web site at www.sealifeparkhawaii.com.