Zoo Announces Birth of 290-Pound Elephant


The Dallas Zoo welcomed a baby elephant on Sunday | Image by Dallas Zoo

The Dallas Zoo has announced the birth of its latest addition to the elephant family, a healthy 290-pound male calf.

The zoo tweeted, “Our baby elephant arrived early on Sunday morning, Feb. 26, at 2:27 a.m. Both mom and the little one are doing well.”

The newborn is the second calf born to Mlilo, who carried him for 22 months, per The Dallas Morning News.

What’s special about this birth, in particular, is that the zoo attempted for the first time ever to recreate the birthing conditions that elephants have in the wild. Audrey Lagemann, the zoo’s zoological manager of elephants, told the DMN that typically, the herd would encircle and protect the newborn elephant after its birth.

In preparation for the birth, Mlilo was placed in a private enclosure with another elephant, Zola. As a reproductive female, Zola is expected to one day have a calf of her own, and so the herd-style birth was to her benefit as well.

Lagemann, who announced the arrival of the baby elephant in a video, explained that many sleepless hours were spent monitoring Mlilo’s final stretch with a remote camera system.

Ultimately, however, the birth was “fast and easy,” Dr. Anne Burgdorf-Moisuk, the zoo’s associate vice president of animal health and welfare, told the DMN.

The calf stood up quickly and began nursing almost immediately after birth, showing all signs of a healthy and energetic baby elephant.

Mlilo and the calf will remain behind the scenes for an extended period before moving into their habitat. The zoo will announce the baby’s name on social media next week.

This happy news comes just days after the Fort Worth Zoo announced the birth of their own Asian elephant calf born on February 23. The male calf, born to first-time mother Belle, weighed in at 270 pounds and stood 37 inches tall, The Dallas Express reported.

The Dallas Zoo has recently come under increased scrutiny following a series of break-ins and the high-profile theft of two emperor tamarin monkeys, as reported by The Dallas Express.

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