Friday, February 26, 2010

....Baby Elephant....

The San Diego Zoo ushered in Valentine’s Day with a bundle of joy that’s not so little.

A male African elephant was born about 2 a.m. Sunday at the zoo’s Wild Animal Park.

He and his mother Ndlula are reportedly doing well. Visitors camping overnight at the zoo could hear the herd trumpeting in the early morning -- a common behavior when a calf is born, according to the Associated Press.

The elephant, which hasn’t been given a name yet, is the sixth calf born to a herd that was brought to the park in 2003 from Swaziland.

Officials have not released the calf’s weight, but newborn African elephants typically weigh between 200 and 250 pounds and stand about 3 feet tall.

You don’t have to go to the zoo to catch a glimpse of the dozen elephants at the park. Try spotting them on the zoo’s elephant cam.

[Updated at 10:58 a.m.: The calf weighed 224 pounds at birth, and he came into the world unexpectedly early, said Yadira Galindo, a spokeswoman for the Wild Animal Park. Zookeepers had anticipated a birthdate of later in the month, so they had not yet set up a 24-hour watch. They learned about the birth after campers participating in the “Roar and Snore” sleepover program reported a commotion about 2 a.m.

“They heard all the trumpeting and all the noises, and when the sun rose they went out there and looked and saw the baby elephant out in the yard with the entire herd,” Galindo said. “The mothers were forming a protective circle around him, which is very natural behavior.”

By 7 a.m. Sunday, he was already up on his feet. No word yet on a name.]

-- Tony Barboza