CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium welcomed a new addition to the animal family.
Phoebe, a 31-year-old Asian elephant, delivered the calf at 3:09 a.m. Thursday. The animal care team has not determined the calf’s sex yet.
Both Phoebe and the baby are bonding together and appear to be doing well, says zoo officials.
The calf is the result of artificial insemination, a rare procedure for elephants, with sperm from one of two elephants recommended by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums.
“We are very proud to welcome Phoebe’s calf into the elephant herd here at the Columbus Zoo,” said Columbus Zoo President and CEO Tom Stalf. “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.”
The gestional period for an Asian elephant typically lasts 22 months, the longest gestiation period of all mamals.
The public will have the opportunity to help name the newborn elephant, who now joins a herd of six Asian elephants in the zoo’s Asia Quest region.
Details on when the calf will be visible to zoo guests have not yet been released.