Georgia Aquarium welcomes new baby beluga

ATLANTA — The Georgia Aquarium has a new addition.

Their 20-year-old beluga whale, Whisper, gave birth to a calf on May 17.

The not-so-little baby beluga weighed 174 pounds at birth and measured 5.4 feet in length. The average weight of a beluga calf at birth is 119-145 pounds and average length is 4.5-5.1 feet.

The Georgia Aquarium is currently closed to the public because of the coronavirus pandemic. The aquarium says its teams are closely monitoring mom and baby.

“We are so proud of Whisper and overjoyed to welcome her calf to our Georgia Aquarium family,” said Dennis Christen, senior director of zoological operations, mammals and birds at Georgia Aquarium. “We will be there right alongside the calf as it continues to grow and learn from Whisper.”

On June 10, workers learned the calf is a girl! She’s been named Shila, which means “flame” in Inuit.

The aquarium says its other beluga whales, Qinu, Maple, Nunavik, and Imaq are all doing well and are in a separate area of the exhibit.