Congratulations are in order: The newest addition at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park is a 281-pound baby elephant — and it’s a girl!
The unnamed female calf was born on Sept. 26 to Umngani, a 28-year-old elephant at the zoo.
Umngani has given birth three other times, but her newest daughter is the biggest elephant to be born at the park. Calves usually weigh between 200 and 268 pounds at birth and so the new addition is quite large — even for a baby elephant!
“Knowing Umngani’s birth window was between Sept. 12 and Oct. 18, we had been placing her in a small area of the yard at night, separate from the rest of the herd,” Curtis Lehman, animal care supervisor at the Safari Park, said in a statement. “She has given birth three other times, and those calves arrived late — so when we checked on her first thing [on Sept. 26], we were surprised and thrilled to see her caring for her healthy newborn. Umngani is a great mom, and she and the baby are doing very well.”
Check out mom and daughter in action in the adorable video posted to the zoo’s Facebook page:
How sweet! There are a total of 14 elephants living at the zoo, including four adults and 10 “little” ones. If you want to keep tabs on the herd, you can check them out on the San Diego Zoo Safari Park’s “elephant cam.”
They include Umngani’s other offspring: 7-year-old male Inhlonipho or “Neepo”; 9-year-old male Ingadze or “Gadze”; and 12-year-old female Khos, as well as two other younger elephants, 8-year-old male Emanti and 11-year-old female Phakamile or “Kami.” They were all happy to meet the newborn elephant and touch and smell her with their trunks.
Second Elephant Born At San Diego Zoo Safari Park In 2 Months
This recent birth marks the second elephant to be born in the past two months at San Diego Zoo Safari Park. The last birth was a 270-pound male calf named Umzula-zuli, born on Aug. 12 (which also happened to be World Elephant Day!).
Too cute! We can’t wait to find out what the new baby elephant is named and follow along on her journey as she grows up.
Another Zoo Welcomes Adorable Babies
The Brookfield Zoo in Illinois also had reason to celebrate this year when it welcomed a pair of newborn leopard cubs. Not only are they cute, but they help add to the dangerously low population of their species, the Amur leopard.
The brothers were born in April to parents Lisa and Kasha, who came to the Brookfield Zoo several years ago. All told, there are roughly 80 Amur leopards in zoos in North America. But in the wild, there are just 65 Amur leopards remaining, which makes them critically endangered.