12/23/07 06:16 PM
Re: Lots of historical beluga info!

-Francis and Ethel arrived in September, 1967. Both were alive as of November, 1970. Francis died I *think* in 1974 after the stillbirth of her second calf, the first of which died right after birth in 1972.

Francis died shortly BEFORE she could gave birth to the calf at the 25th of May 1974. Pic Fetus

Her first calf (as far as I know the first beluga birth in captivity by
the way) was born at the 27th of July 1972, at 2.14 pm. It was a
head-first (sorry I don't know the exact english word for it..) birth.
It swam several times against the walls and glass and died 2.48 pm. cause: a weak cerebral hemorrhage.
The aquarium didn't know that Francis was pregnant not even after
a checkup shortly before. So they weren't prepared to have
a calf in that tank. Pic death calf

(source: book Dr. Gewalt - Der Wei▀wal - quote from a report from the responsible zoo keeper at the time of the birth)

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