- Associated Press - Monday, December 15, 2014

BROOKFIELD, Ill. (AP) - The Brookfield Zoo is welcoming a newborn bottlenose dolphin.

The Chicago Zoological Society says the male calf was born on Friday and weighs about 35-40 pounds. The birth was announced on Sunday, after the calf passed several key milestones.

They included nursing and slipstreaming - when the calf rests in his mother’s wake as she swims.

Rita Stacey is curator for marine mammals. She says the zoo is encouraged by the mother and calf’s behavior, and is cautiously optimistic that it will thrive. She says the first 30 days are critical, and a dolphin birth is not considered successful until the calf reaches 1 year old.

The mother is 9-year-old Allison and the 3 ½-foot-long calf is her first. They’re living with an older, experienced mother and two year-old dolphins.

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