Passengers aboard a dolphin-watching boat in Australia got a rare — and completely adorable — surprise last week.
Cruising waters near Mandurah, the group spotted a well-known female dolphin, named Squarecut, splashing and spinning around in a shallow area near shore.
Volunteers with Mandurah Dolphin Rescue Group, who were in a nearby boat, had been watching her for the past few months and knew she would be giving birth to a calf any day. And luckily for them, she chose a day with an audience.
After the dolphin spent a while swimming in circles and writhing around in the waves from her contractions, her calf’s tail started to emerge. With a bit more swimming and pushing, the baby finally made a grand appearance — and the dolphin watchers couldn’t have been more excited.
« Dolphins are like our little family here, and so to witness a dolphin birth, it was truly an incredible experience for me, » Robyn Bickell, a dolphin rescue volunteer, told ABC News.
Squarecut nudged her newborn up out of the water to breathe, and then the two continued swimming side by side for several more minutes near the boat. While the baby’s gender is still unknown, the rescue team has nicknamed the little dolphin Pom-Pom.
Squarecut has had multiple babies throughout her life, but this was the first time people have observed it — which is extremely rare in the wild. Pom-Pom is now believed to be the first-ever wild dolphin born on-camera in Australia, and only the second in the world.
For Bickell, who recorded the hour-long birth, seeing the mother and baby’s first moments together in their natural home was unlike any other.
« To see this tiny little calf taking its first breath of life was just amazing,” she said. “It’s something I’m never going to forget.”