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It's a girl! Ellie the elephant delivers 341-pound calf

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The big bundle of joy, just after birth (zoo photo)

By Tom Weber, KWMU

http://stream.publicbroadcasting.net/production/mp3/kwmu/local-kwmu-523401.mp3

St. Louis, MO – Ellie the elephant at the St. Louis Zoo delivered a 341-pound female calf just after midnight Wednesday morning.

It's the second elephant ever born at the zoo and the first, Raja, is this newborn's father.

The zoo says both mother and daughter are doing well, though they will NOT be on public display for at least a week. This is also the second calf for Ellie; the first was born in Jacksonville.

"She knew exactly what she was doing and had everything under control," said curator Martha Fischer, who never left the zoo Tuesday night.

"So it was great to go through this with an experienced mother. She did a really great job."

Fischer says the delivery was so fast, staffers didn't even have time to set up a video camera to record the event.

The St. Louis Zoo is now asking the community for suggestions on a name for the new arrival; that's how Raja was named 13 years ago. It will probably be a couple weeks before the newborn is ready for the public to see, Fischer added, because Ellie and baby need time to bond and get aquainted with the herd.

Click on the 'listen' icon above to hear an extended interview with Fischer, speaking with KWMUs Tom Weber.

Click below to see an enlarged photo

https://www.kwmu.org/pic/babysmall.jpg

St. Louis Zoo website

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