Toledo Zoo opens baby elephant exhibitWritten by Patrick Timmis | | firstname.lastname@example.org
The Toledo Zoo opened its exhibit for the newest member of the family, a four-day-old elephant on June 7.
The calf, which weighs 305 pounds, was born Friday to 32-year-old Renee after a nearly 22-month pregnancy.
“Renee is doing excellent,” said elephant keeper Ben Whitebread. “She just blew the staff away with how well she handled that pregnancy.”
Whitebread said Renee’s baby is “mild-mannered,” curious and learning fast, but there remains a lot to discover.
“He’s still trying to figure his trunk out, what he can do with it,” he said.
The staff will choose three names for the baby by next week. The community will then have the opportunity to visit the zoo’s website and vote on its favorite.
The calf’s father is either Ajani, a bull at the Birmingham Zoo in Alabama, or Jackson, who belongs to the Pittsburgh Zoo in Pennsylvania. The zoo will run a DNA test to confirm which bull was the semen donor.
Mammal Curator Randi Meyerson said the one-year mark will be an important milestone for the calf as the zoo staff monitors his health, feeding and growth. It will be at least a year until he meets the other members of his herd, his eight-year-old brother Louie and 26-year-old female Twiggy.
During that time, visiting hours for Renee and her calf may be irregular and subject to unplanned changes, depending on the behavior and growth of the elephants.
To check exhibit hours and to see video of the calf, visit the Toledo Zoo’s website, www.toledozoo.org