Georgia Aquarium resident Beluga Whale, Maris, gave birth early Sunday morning to a female calf. What a special Mothers Day for the Aquarium! The calf was born coming in at almost 60 inches long and 126 pounds and successfully swam to the surface to take her first breath of air. The Georgia Aquarium has temporarily closed the Beluga Exhibit to allow mom and baby some private time to bond and to ensure that all of their needs are properly met. Both mom and baby will receive 24 hour monitoring and care in this crucial period after birth. The birth of this beautiful calf marks a significant achievement for the Georgia Aquarium, as the new calf is born of two parents who were also born in human care. Maris was born at the New York Aquarium and her mate, Beethoven, was born at Sea World San Antonio. The Georgia Aquarium has a blog where you can receive updates on both mom and baby. MORE
Francis is a marine biologist with an MBA and over 20 years of professional aquarium experience. Francis is the former Aquatic Development Manager at Hagen USA., makers of Fluval brand aquarium products. He co-stars on Nat Geo WILD's reality TV series Fish Tank Kings where he is the resident "Fish Geek" and was Director of Marketing at Living Color Aquariums. He is an avid explorer having visited over 45 countries and lived in 7. At 17, he was among the youngest aquarists ever hired by the Vancouver Aquarium, where he worked for 7 years. His aquatic biology experience ranges from larval fish rearing to the design, construction and operational management of renowned public aquariums around the world. Francis is currently head of marketing at the world's largest vertically integrated fish farming company.