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.
“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.”
How sweet! There are a total of 14 elephants living at the zoo, comprised of 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.
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.