The Toledo Zoo is proud to announce that after a 22 month gestation, on Friday, June 2, Renee, one of their two female African elephants, gave birth to a male calf. The unnamed calf was born without assistance and appears to be healthy, weighing in at approximately 200 – 225 lbs. He stood within minutes of his birth and Renee is showing excellent maternal behavior. This is 32-year-old Renee's second baby. The first, Louie, celebrated his 8th birthday not long ago.
Renee was artificially inseminated. The successful birth of Renee’s calf is vital to the zoo elephant population for several reasons. The population of females is aging rapidly with a large percentage exceeding the prime breeding age for the species. Captive breeding efforts are also hampered by a lack of breeding-age bulls and bulls that are of age but show no inclination toward breeding. However, through vigorous breeding efforts, it is hoped that the African elephant zoo population will have a strong future.
Photo Credits: Toledo Zoo/Andi Norman
Have a look at this beyond-cute video of the baby testing out his legs: