Last year, more than two million people watched as Keo, a dolphin at Dolphin Quest Hawaii, gave birth to daughter, Lehua. In the YouTube video, which is definitely worth re-watching, Keo swims around in clear water as a second tail is seen slowly wriggling out of her. When Lehua finally pops out, it is a touch graphic, but totally mind-blowing. Her first movements in the water are frenetic, but natural, and it’s adorable to see her and her mother swimming closely together.
WARNING: The video above contains some graphic content.
Lehua turned one this week and the folks at Dolphin Quest Hawaii held a special party for her. Young children sang “Happy Birthday” in the water, and she was given a special treat by one of the trainers. Perhaps most heart-warming, however, was the presence of both Kio, Lehua’s mother, and Pele, her grandmother. Dolphin calves nurse from 11 months to 2 years, and stay close to their mothers until they’re between three and eight years old -- which means Keo and Lehua still have a few more years of mother-daughter bonding.