Fort Worth Zoo announced the birth of a 330-pound, 38-inch tall female Asian Elephant calf on July 7. This calf is only the second Elephant ever born at the zoo.
Rasha, the zoo’s 40-year-old Asian Elephant, gave birth to the baby, her second, after a 22-month gestation. Rasha was carefully monitored throughout her entire pregnancy. As part of her prenatal care, she received weekly blood tests to monitor progesterone levels, regular physical examinations, and sonograms. The calf’s father is Groucho, a 43-year-old bull who is currently on loan to the Denver Zoo.
Both mother and calf are in great condition at this time. The initial bonding between an Elephant calf and its mother is vital to a successful rearing.
The public is invited to help name the calf through July 25 on the zoo’s website.
Listed as endangered since 1976, the Asian Elephant is threatened by drastic habitat alteration and the poaching of male Elephants for their ivory tusks. Because birth rates are low in the wild and in zoos, the birth of this calf is important to the future of the species.