Las Vegas Sun

June 30, 2022

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Mirage dolphin gets name in employee contest


Justin M. Bowen

Bella swims laps with her mother, Huf n Puf, at The Mirage last month.

The Mirage's newest addition (Sept. 2008)

Colleen Ast, a senior trainer, is one of many on constant rotation to observe, record and note the dolphins' actions. Launch slideshow »

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The Mirage’s newest addition now has a name.

A dolphin calf born Sept. 6 to 8-year-old Huf n Puf was named Bella. The calf completes three generations of Atlantic bottlenose dolphins at The Mirage’s Siegfried and Roy’s Secret Garden and Habitat.

Seven weeks after her arrival, the dolphin had her name selected through an employee contest.

Mirage president Scott Sibella selected the winning name and said Bella -- which means "beautiful" in Italian -- best suited the dolphin.

Other names entered in the running were Lucy, Sweet Pea and Amaya.

Bella is in the Mirage's birthing and research pool along with her mother, Huf n Puf, grandmother Dutchess and Dutchess’ son, Sgt. Pepper. Bella’s father, Lightning, is in another pool within the facility.

The animal care team will keep an eye on Bella for the first year of her life, monitoring her habits and development. The team has seen the young calf become more independent, venturing away from mom for swims on her own.

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