UPDATE: Baby Elephant Gets Her First Bath at Saint Louis Zoo

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The Saint Louis Zoo's baby Asian Elephant, born on April 26, is experiencing new adventures every day as she explores the world under the watchful eye of her mother, Ellie. You saw the not-so-little calf's first baby pictures here on ZooBorns (she weighed 251 pounds at birth!).

In the video below, you'll see the female calf enjoying her first bath, courtesy of a zoo keeper with a hose! You can help name the baby on the zoo’s website through Sunday.

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Photo Credits:  Liz Martin (1), Saint Louis Zoo (2), Stephanie Richmond (3,5), Sarah Riffle (4)


Mother and baby are not yet on public display, and a debut date has not been set. This is Ellie’s third baby and the fourth for the baby’s 20-year-old father, Raja.

“An experienced mother and grandmother, Ellie was, of course, very nurturing, caring for her newborn baby from the very beginning,” said Curator of mammals Martha Fischer. “She did a great job of carrying and giving birth to a beautiful baby girl.”  

“Elephants form deep family bonds and live in tight matriarchal family groups of related females so the addition of a fourth female youngster further cements these strong ties and mirrors the natural family structure for Asian Elephants found in the wild,”  Fischer said.

The Saint Louis Zoo has been actively involved with the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) Species Survival Plan for Asian Elephants. “Because Asian Elephants are so endangered in the wild, the birth of this Elephant is important to the conservation work we do with other North American zoos,” says Dr. Jeffrey P. Bonner, Dana Brown President & CEO of the Saint Louis Zoo. “Together AZA-accredited zoos cooperatively manage the breeding of Asian Elephants to maintain healthy populations that are as genetically diverse and as demographically stable as possible.

“There are only between 35,000 and 50,000 Asian Elephants left in the wild, and they are facing extinction. Given the shrinking population of Asian Elephants, the Saint Louis Zoo shares a common vision with other professional Elephant conservation organizations and with our Elephant care colleagues—a vision that includes Elephants in the world’s future forever, both in zoos and in the wild.”

In addition to participating in the AZA Species Survival Plan, the Zoo supports the welfare and conservation of Asian Elephants in Sumatra and other countries in Asia through the International Elephant Foundation, as well as the conservation of African Elephants in Kenya.

Also, with Elephant Endotheliotropic Herpesvirus (EEHV) a common health issue for Elephants both in the care of zoos and in the wild, the Saint Louis Zoo has been instrumental in pursuing the latest EEHV detection and testing protocols. For several years, the Zoo has joined other North American Elephant care facilities in actively supporting an EEHV research effort.  The International Elephant Foundation is facilitating this study to find a cure.  

St. Louis Zoo Trumpets Arrival of Baby Asian Elephant

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Late on Friday night, April 26, Ellie, the Saint Louis Zoo's 42-year-old Asian Elephant, gave birth to a baby girl. The zoo's veterinarians and elephant caretakers were in attenance of the birth and will continue to monitor the baby's health. The calf is about 38 inches tall and weighs 251 pounds. Both Mom and baby spent the night quietly bonding and are doing well.

For the past two months, zoo staff has been on a 24-hour pregnancy watch. They monitored Ellie's progress with an ultrasound exam and tracked her progesterone levels every day. When Ellie's progesterone dropped five days ago, they knew she would deliver within 1-13 days. Martha Fischer, Curator of Mammals, said, "The baby appears healthy and is already walking around well. As an experienced mother and grandmother, Ellie was very nurturing, caring for her newborn from the very beginning. She did a great job."

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Photo credits: Katie Pilgram/Saint LouisZoo

The Saint Louis Zoo has been actively involved with the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) Species Survival Plan for Asian Elephants. Dr. Jeffrey P. Bonner, Dana Brown President & CEO of the Saint Louis Zoo said, "There are only between 35,000 and 50,000 Asian Elephants left in the wild, and they are facing extinction. Given the shrinking population of Asian Elephants, the Saint Louis Zoo shares a common vision with other professional elephant conservation organizations and with our elephant care colleagues—a vision that includes elephants in the world's future forever, both in zoos and in the wild."

The Zoo will soon announce a naming poll through a news release, social media and its website.

Read more about the Elephant family and the Zoo's conservation program below the fold: 

Continue reading "St. Louis Zoo Trumpets Arrival of Baby Asian Elephant" »

Asian Elephant Makes a Splash at Melbourne Zoo


Melbourne Zoo's two month-old Asian Elephant calf received the name Sanook at a special naming celebration on March 14. The name, which means "fun-loving and cheerful" in Thai, was selected by zoo fans.

Sanook was born to mother Num-Oi early on January 17th after a 22 month pregnancy and 3 days of labor. The calf is the first for Num-Oi and the fourth for father Bong Su. Less than a week after his birth, Sanook was already splashing around in the paddock's shallow pool. Before receiving his official name, the keepers nick-named the calf "Dougie" after noticing that he liked to dig.




Minister for Environment and Climate Change Ryan Smith has congratulated Melbourne Zoo's staff on the success of their elephant breeding program. "We're thrilled with the safe arrival of the baby elephant at Melbourne Zoo," Mr. Smith said. The birth exemplifies the quality of Zoos Victoria's breeding programs aimed at fighting extinction.

Photo Credits: Zoos Victoria

UPDATE! Prague Zoo's Baby Elephant Learning to Use Trunk

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On February 11, Prague Zoo in the Czech Republic welcomed an Indian Elephant calf, which we originally covered a few weeks back. Now 23 days old, the calf continues to grow stronger and more independant under the watchful eye of mom, Donna.

While the calf builds relationships with the others in the herd and explores her habitat (sometimes on still-awkward legs), Donna is always close-by to provide help and encouragement with a little nudge from her trunk. Speaking of trunks, the baby has begun learning to use her own, following the lead of Mom and others. The calf is realizing it can be used to put things in her mouth, to communicate, and to act as a brace if she's unsteady or clamboring up from the ground. She gets exhausted running around with big sister Tonya; afterward she nurses and promptly curls up for a nap.

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Photo Credit: Tomas Adamec, Prague Zoo

Video of the birth and the calf's first days of life

Budapest Zoo Welcomes a New Baby Elephant - Their First Since 1961

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This baby Asian Elephant was born early in the morning on Valentines Day at Zoo Budapest, after a 22-month gestation. The mother is 12-year-old Angele, and her father is named Assam. A public vote held on the zoo's website to name the baby just wrapped up. The choices all began with the letter A, to mirror her parent's names. They were: Asha, Anita, Angyalka, Amelie, Aishwarya, Aurora. The winning moniker was announced just today: She will be called Asha!

Budapest Zoo considers this a very important baby, as this is the first Elephant birth there since 1961. She can be seen out in her exhibit with mom as weather permits, but the hours outside will be short, as the baby is still bonding with mom. 

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Photo Credit: Zoltan Bagosi

Watch the baby out in the exhibit, nursing and following Mom around:

Update! Oregon Zoo's Baby Elephant is Two Months Old!


Lily, the now two-month-old Asian Elephant at Oregon Zoo, is full of energy! And she expends it daily, running around her habitat and rolling in the dirt and hay, all joy in action. She was born on November 30, which you can read about HERE, and our follow-up HERE, when she turned one month old, on ZooBorns.

The Oregon Zoo is recognized worldwide for its successful breeding program for Asian Elephants, which has now spanned 50 years. Lily's grandmother, Me-Tu, was the second Elephant born at the zoo , and her great-grandmother, Rosy, was the first Elephant to live in Oregon.


Photo Credit: Oregon Zoo

See how playful Lily has become on the video below:

Baby Elephant Birth the First in Prague Zoo's History!

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This baby Indian Elephant came into the world at 1:20 p.m. on February 11, at Prague Zoo in the Czech Republic. Very shortly after, the baby succeeded in getting to its feet. The next step was to nurse.  This is cause for extra celebration, as it is the first elephant born at the Zoo in their 82-year history. 

The birth follows on the heels of the growth of the Indian Elephant herd, when two female elephants arrived from Sri Lanka to join the male and three other females living at the zoo. This new calf's mom, Donna, was one of those females, and herself had arrived from Rotterdam, already pregnant! Jaroslav Simek, Prague Zoo's Deputy Director, said that this birth was very special as it is a great help in expanding the genetic base of European breeding of Indian elephants. 

The herd now lives in the newly completed large mammal pavillion and habitat created especially for them, which will open to the public on March 30. Zoo guests will then be able to see the baby for the first time.

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Photo Credit: Miroslav Bobek, Zoo Praha

Chester Zoo's Baby Boom Continues with Birth of Second Elephant Calf

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Chester Zoo's Asian Elephant herd got a little larger with the arrival of a second calf in the space of less than 12 weeks... and it's a girl!  After a 22-month gestation, the baby was welcomed into the group at 11:00 p.m. on January 21, by 15-year-old Mom Sithami and eight other elephants. This is Sithami's third baby, so she is an experienced mom. Both she and her calf are doing well -- in fact, the baby was up on her feet within the first three minutes of life.

Tim Rowlands, Curator of Mammals, said, “The natural bonding between Mum and calf -- and the calf with the rest of the herd -- is fascinating and a truly wonderful thing to see. And we just hope that when people come and set eyes on them, they’re inspired to try and do something to help stop the persecution that these magnificent animals face in the wild."

“In India for example," Rowland continued, "elephants are all too often injured or even killed in conflicts with humans because they wander into villages and wreck crops and damage property and the villagers retaliate against them with force. However we run a great conservation program over there, which works hard to put an end to this, helping both man and beast live harmoniously. In fact, not a single elephant has been killed in the villages where we work for over a year! When people come and see our new baby, sometimes unbeknown to them, they’re helping fund this work in the wild. It’s vitally important.”

In December Chester Zoo invited the BBC's Earth Unplugged to meet the herd and cover this birth. You can see Part 1 of the series here, but watch Part 2 of this special report below, where host Chris Howard meets head Elephant Keeper Andy McKenzie to view the CCTV footage of the birth. 

Photo Credit:Chester Zoo

Read more after the fold:

Continue reading "Chester Zoo's Baby Boom Continues with Birth of Second Elephant Calf" »

UPDATE: Lowry Park Zoo's Baby Elephant Finds Her Legs

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A little African Elephant was born at Tampa's Lowry Park Zoo on Christmas Eve to mom Mball. You might have read about it HERE on Zooborns. The calf's birth is only the second in Lowry Park Zoo's history, and the first born in Tampa, from a herd of 11 elephants rescued from Africa nearly a decade ago.

Just like it would be in the wild, the herd is maternally based, so as of January 8, the calf has been out in the habitat being looked after by not only Mom, but her two aunts as well. Now, at almost a month old, the little calf is full of energy and curiosity. Each day she makes progress in the task of finding her legs and discovering how her trunk works! When she runs, she even kicks up a little dust. 

Chris Massaro, Animal Department Operations Manager said, "When she runs out there, she'll trip over her own feet. But she's getting her feet under her, she's doing very well." 

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Photos 1 and 2: Matthew Paulson/Photomatt28. Photos 3 and 4: Lowry Park Zoo,

UPDATE: Lil' Lily, Oregon Zoo's Baby Elephant, at One Month Old

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Oregon Zoo's Asian Elephant calf Lily is a little over one month old and has been developing into a joyful, energetic little elephant. You may have read about the baby, born November 30, HERE on ZooBorns. Her public debut was on December 14, when, for limited hours, the public could see her sticking close to Mom Rose-Tu. But even then her personality was evident, earning her the description of a 'spitfire' by her keepers.

Since then, she has grown not only in size but in confidence. She is out for longer hours now with the herd and when not napping, can often be seen skipping, rolling around and playing. She totters in a signature way that has been captured in these stills and on the video below. But she knows she can always return to the safety found under the sturdy legs and bellies of the grown ups! 

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Photo Credit: Oregon Zoo / Michael Durham

See more pictures of Lily after the fold:

Continue reading "UPDATE: Lil' Lily, Oregon Zoo's Baby Elephant, at One Month Old" »