St. Louis Zoo Welcomes Baby Elephant, The Second Male Born In The Zoo
Editor's note: This story was originally published in the Belleville News-Democrat.
The St. Louis Zoo’s 23-year-old Asian elephant has given birth to a male calf — only the second ever male elephant born in the zoo.
In a news release, the zoo said the baby was born at 1:55 p.m. on Monday. Both the baby and his mother, Rani, were doing well on Monday evening. The baby has not been named yet.
The baby’s father, Raja, was the first male elephant born at the zoo in 1992, the release stated. The birth of this calf marks Raja’s fifth offspring.
“We’re thrilled to welcome Raja’s first son into our three-generation elephant family,” said Tim Thier, director of the zoo’s WildCare Institute Center for Asian Elephant Conservation.
According to the release, Rani is part of a 10-member, three-generation elephant family at the zoo’s River’s Edge and Elephant Woods habitats that include the new calf, Rani’s mother Ellie, Rani’s daughter Jade and other elephants Maliha, Priya, Donna, Sri, Pearl and Raja.
An elephant pregnancy lasts about 22 months and a newborn weighs about 250-350 pounds, the release stated. Rani received regular prenatal health checkups throughout her pregnancy by the zoo’s elephant care team.
“Mother and baby are bonding off public view and a debut date has not been set,” the release stated.
Hana Muslic is a reporter at the Belleville News-Democrat, a repoting partner of St. Louis Public Radio.