Vegas Strip Welcomes Baby Dolphin at Secret Garden

Posted Wednesday, July 27, 2011 by in Las Vegas, Things to Do. 2 Comments.

One of the Strip’s most popular animal attractions, Siegfried & Roy’s Secret Garden & Dolphin Habitat, welcomed a new arrival, a dolphin calf, born on July 3, 2011.

We’re a sucker for dolphins, so we stopped by to take a look.

baby dolphin

There you've got your "ador," and there you've got your "able."

On the day we visited, the calf (it’s a boy!) was making the rounds with its mother, Dutchess and Huf n Puf, Duchess’ daughter, as well as Huf n Puf’s daughter, Bella. Yeah, it gets complicated, but it’s actually three generations of dolphins.

The calf’s father, Lightning, is kept in another pool. We’re fairly sure it’s nothing personal.

We caught up with the new arrival at the “Birthing and Research” pool, which sounds a lot more exclusive than it is since it’s open to the public. Thanks to our exclusive video, it’s baby dolphin time.

It’s interesting to note that in certain parts of the video, the dolphins are actually napping as they swim. They essentially shut down half their brain, and continue to move in a circular motion around the pool. We like that “shutting down half the brain” trick, and can only assume we’ll be using it at work from here on out.

Officials at the Siegfried & Roy’s Secret Garden & Dolphin Habitat took some time before announcing the dolphin’s birth, just to make sure the little bugger was in good shape and ready for his public debut. Dolphins are fairly delicate through their first year, so the attraction’s staff will continue to monitor the calf as he bonds with his mother and grows more independent.

baby dolphin

If you're not smiling right now, you're a cyborg.

The new calf is the ninth dolphin at the dolphin habitat.

The calf still hasn’t been given a name, but this blog is kind of feeling like “Pulse” might fit the bill. We’re just saying.

Something else we didn’t know before we read the news release: “The Dolphin Habitat at The Mirage is accredited by the Alliance of Marine Mammal Parks and Aquariums, an international association dedicated to the highest standards of care for marine mammals and to their conservation in the wild through public education, scientific study and wildlife presentations.” We dig that.

Vegas dolphin

Yes, you get this close.

More dolphin baby facts: The typical gestation period of Atlantic bottlenose dolphins is one year, and a calf nurses for at least a year. Dolphin babies are often born tail first, and weigh between 25 and 30 pounds. Yes, we picked up a brochure during our visit.

Entry to the Siegfried & Roy’s Secret Garden & Dolphin Habitat is just $17 (and a mere $14 for Nevada residents).

Secret Gardens

They might want to put "secret" in quotation marks.

Another intriguing offering we’re dying to try is the Trainer for a Day program. In the program, participants work with dolphin care specialists and train dolphins first-hand. The cost is a hefty $595 per person, but hello, they’re dolphins. Read more.

Just another great item for your list of Things to Do in Las Vegas. Congratulations to everyone at the dolphin habitat on the new arrival! You just never know what surprises might pop out on the Las Vegas Strip.

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2 Responses

  1. I visited the habitat a few years ago and was struck by the professionalism of the dolphin staff. The dolphins don’t do “tricks” but are taught “behaviors” with the prime motivator that those behaviors benefit the dolphins in some way rather than amusing visitors. The staff sees this as a research facility and their first allegiance is to the dolphins. Obviously, they recognize the need for guests to pay for their work, but they are researchers, not performers. People shouldn’t expect dolphin shows, but they will get a whole lot more out of the experience than they would a performance if they just take the time to talk to the staff.

  2. Anonymous

    Thanks for mentioning that. No scheduled performances might come as a surprise to those used to SeaWorld-type parks. To a person, the staff seems completely committed to putting the animals first.

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