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Ellie will give birth soon at St. Louis Zoo

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Ellie the elephant (zoo photo)

By Tom Weber, KWMU

http://stream.publicbroadcasting.net/production/mp3/kwmu/local-kwmu-523313.mp3

St. Louis, MO – Ellie the elephant is due to give birth any day at the St. Louis Zoo, and her level of the chemical progesterone has dropped. That means she's about to go into labor.

Zoo staff and veternarians have been monitoring the Asian elephant around the clock for the past few weeks. The progesterone levels have dropped significanly in the past two days, according to a statement from the zoo.

Delivery is estimated to be one to 13 days after the progesterone levels decrease.

This will be the second baby for 34-year-old Ellie and the first for 13-year-old Raja, who fathered the calf.

Ellie's baby is a female, which is known from blood tests, and she'll likely weigh 250-350 pounds at birth.

Last year, Sri the elephant went into labor but tests found her calf was stillborn. Sri is still carrying that calf and should pass it in the next few months.

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