Generic selectors
Exact matches only
Search in title
Search in content

Joy as Big Pregnancy Announced at the Columbus Zoo

Posted By : The Animal Facts Editorial Team

Date: March 3, 2021 9:40 pm

elephant pregnancy Columbus Zoo

Phoebe the Asian elephant plays in her pool at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium

Photo Credit: Grahm S. Jones/ Columbus Zoo and Aquarium

The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium in Ohio, USA is growing its family with Asian elephant, Phoebe set to give birth this summer.

Phoebe has entered her third trimester of pregnancy with keepers predicting her delivery date will be mid to late June. This will end the longest gestation period of any mammal at 22 months long.

Calves are well developed at birth. The newborn will stand 91cm (3ft) tall and weigh in between 90 and 136kg (200-300lbs).

Keepers have been able to monitor Phoebe through her pregnancy as she will participate in regular voluntary ultrasounds. Ultrasounds have allowed care staff to monitor the calf’s development but they do not determine the sex of the calf. This will be found out once the calf is born.

elephant pregnancy Columbus Zoo
elephant pregnancy Columbus Zoo

Left: Phoebe the elephant participates in a voluntary ultrasound at the Columbus Zoo

Right: Hank the father of the calf which will be born this summer

Photo Credit: Grahm S. Jones/ Columbus Zoo and Aquarium

The zoo’s animal care team are continuing to monitor Phoebe. Closer to her due date keepers will be with her 24 hours a day ready to assist with the birth.

Phoebe has been a resident of the Columbus Zoo since 2002 and lives among five Asian elephants at the zoos Asia Quest exhibit. These include the calf’s father Hank and Phoebe’s son Beco. The rest of the herd is three females known as Connie, Sunny and Rudy.

She is an experienced mother having given birth to four previous calves. Three of these births occurred at the Columbus Zoo.

— AD —

Phoebe and Hank have been paired through a recommendation from the Species Survival Plan® (SSP), a program coordinated by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA). This program plans the breeding of animals at American zoos to maintain genetic diversity.

While attempts were made to have the pair mate naturally these were unsuccessful and the birth has been made possible through artificial insemination. This was coordinated by animal health experts.

Artificial insemination procedures in elephants are still rare. Only 10 successful outcomes have been recorded in Asian elephants and two of these have now occurred at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium.

elephant pregnancy Columbus Zoo

Phoebe the Asian elephant plays in her pool at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium

Photo Credit: Grahm S. Jones/ Columbus Zoo and Aquarium

“Every elephant calf is precious and vital to the survival of this endangered species. We are proud to celebrate Phoebe’s pregnancy with our fellow zoological colleagues and conservation partners, as well as our Central Ohio community and beyond. Conservation is a collective effort, and thanks to everyone’s involvement and support, together we can continue working toward achieving these milestones that contribute to efforts protecting the future of elephants and other incredible species,” said Columbus Zoo President/CEO Tom Stalf.

The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium support conservation efforts in the wild for both Asian and African elephants with the Asian elephant listed as endangered by the IUCN.

These include supporting research projects and grants relating to this species along with leading AZA’s SAFE (Saving Animals From Extinction) Asian Elephant Program, an AZA initiative to leverage their large audiences and collective expertise to save animals from extinction.

elephant pregnancy Columbus Zoo

Phoebe the elephant participates in a voluntary ultrasound at the Columbus Zoo

Photo Credit: Grahm S. Jones/ Columbus Zoo and Aquarium

Learn more about Asian elephants here – Asian Elephant Fact File | The Animal Facts

Learn more about the Columbus Zoo on their website – Columbus Zoo

Most Popular Animal this Week

Most Popular Zoo this Week

Redbubble Store.

Pages

AD

Columbus Zoo gorilla family

New Gorilla Family Prepare to Move at Columbus Zoo 

Sloth Brevard Zoo

Baby Sloth Born at Brevard Zoo in Florida 

Giant Panda Cub Xiao Qi Ji update

Xiao Qi Ji Tries Out Bamboo for the First Time 

We’re Social. Follow Us

We share awesome animal content daily

Featured Animal

little penguin
Share via
Copy link