We have been very lucky to have a new baby dolphin calf born in the bay of Islands. He/she is now five week old and looks to be swimming strongly. It takes some time for the newly born calf to get adjusted to the new environment. The baby dolphin breathes by “chin slapping” (raising the head higher than required on the surface of the water) to facilitate the breathing process.
Soon the calf learns to swim around his mother for both nursing and “slip streaming”. Like other mammals, dolphin calves nurse their mother’s milk for about 12 to 18 months. After calves are weaned, the mother teaches her young how to hunt for food. Mothers care for their young for between 3 and 6 years. Our dolphins are very precious to us and the baby dolphins especially so, juveniles and young calves are particularly vulnerable to boat strike as they are slower swimmers, have limited diving abilities and are more inquisitive around vessels as they lack awareness of danger. If you are lucky to see a new born dolphin calf, please slow down and respect their environment.