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Asian Elephant Born at Columbus Zoo

Anne Evans Anne Evans Asian Elephant Born at Columbus ZooAsian elephant calf. Photo by Grahm S. Jones for the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium.
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Early this morning, at 3:09 a.m., an Asian elephant was born at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium to mother Phoebe, a 31-year-old elephant. At this time, the baby’s sex is unknown.

Elephants have the longest gestational period of all mammals, lasting approximately 22 months. The calf is a result of artificial insemination and is the first elephant to be born at the Columbus Zoo in almost 10 years. The father is also unknown, but will be determined through a DNA test in a few weeks.

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Asian elephant calf. Photo by Grahm S. Jones for the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium.

“We are very proud to welcome Phoebe’s calf into the elephant herd here at the Columbus Zoo,” said Columbus Zoo President/CEO Tom Stalf in a statement. “Each birth contributes to the global population and sustainability of this endangered species and is one worth celebrating as a sign of hope for the future of these incredible animals.”

While still a rare procedure, artificial insemination is being used more often across the world in an effort to grow the number of elephants.

The calf joins the herd of six Asian elephants in the Asia Quest region: males, Hank and Beco, and females, Phoebe, Connie, Sundara (Sunny) and Rudy. There have been three successful Asian elephant births at the Columbus Zoo throughout the Zoo’s history, and all three have been born to Phoebe: this most recent calf, Beco in 2009, and male, Bodhi, who was born in 2004 and now resides at Denver Zoo.

Phoebe and her calf will remain behind-the-scenes for now. The Zoo plans to engage the public to help name the calf.

For more information, visit columbuszoo.org.

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