Happy Birthday, Foster!

by Allison Ginsburg, Acting Curator of Marine Mammals

Published September 09, 2013

Today we celebrate another exciting birthday within our dolphin family - Foster is turning 6 years old!

Foster is the son of 13-year-old Jade, who also calls the National Aquarium home. Becoming a mother is difficult no matter what species you are, but can you imagine trying to master nursing underwater!

In dolphin social groups often another experienced mother in the pod will help to raise the calf and to help teach the new mom the ropes. With Foster's birth, the Marine Mammal team saw several of the adult females begin to produce milk and to help nurse Foster! This display from his "foster" moms earned Foster his unique name.

Today Foster resides in a pair bond or male alliance with 8-year-old Beau (son of Nani). In dolphin social structures the females live together and males for these alliances with 2-3 members in them.

Foster is very chatty with his human co-workers and loves learning new behaviors! A type of jump called back dive is one of his favorites! Foster's favorite enrichment plays include basketball and a good game of hose play.

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