Houston Zoo is celebrating the birth of an adorable baby elephant that weighs around 284 pounds! 10-year-old Asian elephant Tupelo gave birth to the female calf. Both mother and child are healthy according to the zoo.
Vice president of animal operations at the Houston Zoo, Lisa Marie Avendano, said in a statement, “Our animal team is thrilled that the birth has gone smoothly.”
Adding further, “We look forward to continuing to watch Tupelo and her baby bond and introducing her to Houston.”
However, according to a post on Twitter, it would take a few days of bonding with the mother before the baby elephant would be 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 critical for the mother and baby to be stress-free during this bonding phase.
Curator of Large Mammals, Daryl Hoffman told The Koala, “Winnie’s birth is important to the entire Asian elephant population, not just the Zoo. With 96 elephants dying a day due to poachers and human-elephant conflict, and an AZA (Association of Zoos and Aquariums) population which is far from being self-sustaining, every elephant birth is very important.”
Adding further, “The fact that this is a second-generation birth at the Houston Zoo makes Winnie very special in continuing our goal to maintain a multi-generational family group of elephants.”
Tupelo gave birth in the McNair Asian Elephant Habitat Cow Barn. Luckily, she was under constant supervision by the zookeepers.
Members of the zoo have named the cute baby elephant ‘Winnie’. The baby took her first steps outside along with the rest of the herd on March 16. Houston Zoo posted the adorable video on Twitter.
Tupelo’s pregnancy was a result of artificial insemination since she is related to all the other male elephants at the zoo. The birth of Winnie means that there are now five males and seven females at the Houston Zoo.
Moreover, Houston Zoo does a lot of work to help save baby elephants and their families in the wild. A portion of each admission fee and membership at the Zoo goes to protecting wild elephants in Asia.
You can learn more about the services Houston Zoo provides and even schedule a trip on their website. If you want to keep up to date about Winnie and other animals just like her, check out the Houston Zoo’s Facebook and Twitter pages!