The calf of a beluga whale who went into labor at the Georgia Aquarium Tuesday did not make it through delivery.
Qinu began experiencing complications after several hours of labor, according to aquarium officials.
“The position and shape of the calf prevented the delivery and it was determined the calf had died before it had a chance to be born,” a statement says. “Our veterinary and animal care teams intervened for the safety of Qinu and worked around-the-clock to carefully remove the calf.”
Aquarium staff, which had hoped for Qinu’s pregnancy for years, is “devastated” and focusing on her recovery, a spokeswoman said Wednesday.
Qinu came to Atlanta via airplane from SeaWorld San Antonio in November 2010, when she was two years old. The aquarium announced the pregnancy — her first — in June.
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The beluga whale exhibit, which includes three of the animals, remains closed for an indefinite amount of time.
Hundreds of people have shared their condolences on the aquarium’s Facebook page.
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Atlanta organizations can always use help from volunteers. Try these organizations: Atlanta Humane Society Lost-n-Found Youth Georgia Aquarium Grant Park Conservancy Meals on Wheels