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Beco Plays Ball

Back in March we brought you pictures of the Columbus Zoo's newborn elephant calf, Beco, as he took his wobbly first steps. Now a toddler at 690 lbs, the zoo has shared some outstanding footage of Beco romping with his favorite toy, a very big, and very durable, blue rubber ball. Enjoy the video!

Beco the baby elephant 1 

Photo and video credits: Grahm Jones / Columbus Zoo and Aquarium

Beco, named after his mother, Phoebe, and his father, Coco) was born 27 March 2009. As of 12 August, he weighed 690 pounds and is averaging a weight gain of about three pounds a day.  At not quite five months old, he is precocious and curious about everything – from drain hole covers to sticks in the yard, he wants to explore everything. Phoebe is a wonderful mom – she keeps a close eye on him while he explores and humors a lot of his rambunctious play. Beco was given the Boomer ball about a week or two ago to introduce enrichment play into his routine (and to give Phoebe a break from his high energy play!). The Zoo gives most of its animals different enrichment activities to stimulate play, natural behaviors, and break up the animals’ routines.

Beco recently had his first swimming lesson from the keepers and Phoebe. While the introduction to the pool went slowly, in the end, he went into the deep end of the pool and swam about using his little trunk as a snorkel, much to the delight of the visitors who got to see his first foray into the pool. All in all, Beco is growing up fast and well, just as a baby elephant should.

Due to habitat loss/degradation and poaching, Asian elephants are considered Endangered by the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.