The Animal Facts Editorial Team
February 27, 2023 12:01 am
Fort Worth Zoo, Texas, United States of America
Fort Worth Zoo are celebrating the birth of a healthy male Asian elephant born overnight on February 23 2022. Weighing in at a massive 270 pounds (122kg) and already standing 37in (93cm) tall the new arrival is a welcome addition to the breeding program for his threatened species in Fort Worth.
This is the fifth calf for the zoo following the arrival of his half brother Brazos born in 2021. The mother of the calf, Belle was herself born in Fort Worth during 2013. The father of the calf, Romeo came to Fort Worth Zoo in 2015 mimicking the movements of male elephants in the wild who move in and out of herds. Females remain in their birth herd with their mother for life. This intergenerational family dynamic within the herd mimics how elephants will live in the wild.
For Belle this marks her first calf. During the pregnancy she received pre-natal care from zoo vets including blood tests to monitor progesterone levels, regular physical examinations, and sonograms.
At present mother and calf are taking time to bond in a behind the scenes area within the Elephant Springs habitat. Bonding between mother and calf is vital for rearing of a healthy calf. Animal care staff will monitor the family and determine when guests will be introduced to the new arrival.
Elephant Springs at Fort Worth Zoo was opened in April 2021 providing a home for a multi-generational herd of Asian elephants. It is hoped the habitat will connect guests with elephants and inspire them to save their wild counterparts.
Asian elephants are highly intelligent animals. They have been shown to use tools such as breaking branches off of trees and using these to swat away flies.
Image: © Fort Worth Zoo
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