Park Elephants: Busy Times

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Msholo (left), uses his trunk to greet Lungile.

Due to our standard 5-week, 24-hour baby watch with our newest calf, born on December 27, we find ourselves very busy indeed! However, here’s a brief update on elephant happenings at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park:

Since we’ve had access to the West Yard (old Asian elephant yard) via new connecting gates, we’ve had all of the original African elephant herd, including their calves (even our newest calf), over to that yard. We’ve also allowed introductions of Msholo, the bull elephant that had been residing in the West Yard by himself, to four of the adult females and their calves.

All of these introductions have gone very well. The yard and the heated barn on that side have given us more flexibility and allowed the elephants to have another source of heat during this winter time. The hydraulic gates connecting the two yards have been working well. The Elephant Team is very thankful to all who made the yard connection possible.

The newest calf (the fourth in 2010) is doing great. He does an excellent job of getting around and is quite an efficient nurser. His weight recordings have followed the normal pattern of dropping about 10 pounds (4.5 kilograms) from birth weight and then gradually gaining every day. He’s now at 257 pounds (117 kilograms), up from a birth weight of 230 pounds (104 kilograms). He’s very cute, and he crashes within minutes of being put indoors for the night. So do we!

Curtis Lehman is an animal care manager at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park. Read his previous post, Park Elephant Update.

Watch the Park’s herd daily on Elephant Cam.