There must be something in the water.
The Chicago Zoological Society on Friday announced three of its bottlenose dolphins are pregnant at the Brookfield Zoo.
The expecting dolphins are Allie, 27; Noelani, 11; and Allison, 9.
They are due this fall and winter, and the pregnancies are part of the zoo’s breeding program, according to the zoological society.
The dolphins are being supervised by the zoo’s veterinarians and are getting weekly ultrasound exams.
“All three pregnancies are progressing well,” said Jennifer Langan, associate veterinarian, in a release.
Ultrasounds are performed by the veterinarians as the dolphins lie calmly in the water. Their weight, body temperature, dietary intake, blubber thickness and their girth are being evaluated.
You won’t be able to catch a glimpse of the mothers to be, though. The dolphins are off exhibit where they will give birth.
In addition to the ultrasounds, Chicago Zoological Society staff are using a software program to help monitor and record behavioral trends. This helps them identify behaviorial changes that can help predict the onset of labor, according to the society.
Allie has given birth to four other calves; Noelani and Allison will be first-time moms.
The coast isn’t clear right after the birth. A young dolphin calf’s first year both in the wild and at a zoo is challenging. In the wild, nearly 20 percent of calves born to first-time mothers don’t survive. A dolphin birth isn’t considered successful until the calf reaches about one.
Although visitors to the zoo won’t be able to see the pregnant dolphins, they’ll still be able to visit Tapeko, 33; Magic, a 1-year-old male calf who was handreared by staff, and Merlin, Tapeko’s 1-year-old offspring.