The Houston Zoo is celebrating the birth of an adorable baby elephant weighing approximately 284 pounds! Ten-year-old Asian elephant Tupelo gave birth to a female calf. According to the zoo, both mother and baby are healthy.
The vice president of animal operations at the Houston Zoo, Lisa Marie Avendano, said in a statement, “Our animal team is delighted that the birth went so smoothly.”
She added, “We look forward to continuing to follow Tupelo and her children as they bond and introduce her to Houston.”
However, according to a Twitter post, it will take a few days to bond with the mother before the baby is ready to join the rest of the herd.
During the bonding phase, the elephant team will watch and wait for the mother and child to share key moments. It is important that the mom and baby are not stressed during this bonding period.
Large Mammals curator Daryl Hoffman said, “Winnie’s birth is important for the entire Asian elephant population, not just at the Zoo. With 96 elephants dying every day from poachers and human-elephant conflict, and an AZA (Association of Zoos and Aquariums) population far from being self-sustaining, each elephant birth is all very important.”
He added, “The fact that this is the second birth at the Houston Zoo makes Winnie very special in continuing our goal of sustaining a multi-generational family elephant group.”
Tupelo was born in the McNair Asian Elephant Habitat Cow Barn. Fortunately, she is always supervised by the zookeepers.
Members of the zoo have named the cute baby elephant ‘Winnie’. The baby took her first steps outside with the rest of the herd on March 16. The Houston Zoo posted the adorable video on Twitter.
Tupelo’s pregnancy was the result of artificial insemination as she is related to all the other male elephants at the zoo. Winnie’s birth means there are now five males and seven females at the Houston Zoo.
Furthermore, the Houston Zoo does a lot to help save baby elephants and their families in the wild. A portion of each entry fee and membership at the Zoo goes towards protecting wild elephants in Asia.
You can learn more about the services Houston Zoo offers and even schedule a trip on their website. If you want updates on Winnie and other animals like her, check out the Houston Zoo’s Facebook and Twitter pages!