Voting begins to name Shedd Aquarium's new dolphin calf

CHICAGO (Sun-Times Media Wire) - The Shedd Aquarium is asking animal lovers to take a quick break from holiday shopping and vote on a name for its 6-month-old Pacific white-sided dolphin calf.

Voters can vote on SheddAquarium.com until 3 p.m. Dec. 15 and choose between the Hawaiian names Kolohe, which means “rascal”; and Makoa, which means fearless, according to the Shedd. The winning name will be announced during a live broadcast on Dec. 16.

“Either name would be a perfect fit for our dolphin calf, who has proven to be a curious and energetic addition to Shedd,” Dr. Bill Van Bonn, aquarium vice president of animal health, said in a statement.

“Pacific white-sided dolphins are naturally active and social animals. Our trainers introduce the calf to new things each day to help it learn and grow, including different habitats, the presence o other trainers, and other members of the calf’s extended dolphin family at Shedd,” Van Bonn said.

The male calf was born June 1 to 27-year-old mom Piquet, according to the Shedd. He is one of fewer than 20 of his species that can be seen in North American zoos. Piquet had another calf in 2012, Sagu, who continues to thrive at the aquarium.

Aquarium visitors can see the dolphin calf at the Abbott Oceanarium, or check in on him on the 24-hour underwater web cam at www.SheddAquarium.com/NameTheDolphin.

People are encouraged to share their vote on social media using the hashtag #NametheDolphin and either #TeamKolohe or #TeamMakoa.

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