OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium has a new member.
An African elephant was born last week.
Dennis Pate, president and CEO of Henry Doorly Zoo, said the elephant, which has not been named yet, weighs between 175 and 200 pounds.
"The staff, everybody here at the zoo is ecstatic about this because, part of the reason is because, you got to wait 22 months for it to happen," Pate said. "The patience required to follow this through with hormone levels and baby-proofing the exhibit, and all the what-if scenarios that the elephant staff and the veterinary staff have put together so that we could be prepared no matter what happened."
Due to its size, the zoo believes the calf may have been born prematurely.
She won't be the only baby elephant at the zoo for long.
Another elephant is expected to give birth any day now.
Pate said all of the information that they have about the soon-to-be-born elephant points to a successful birth.
The arrival of both baby elephants is special not just to the zoo but unique in the nation.
"If you want to see an elephant in North America, you gotta come to Omaha, Nebraska to see that. Beyond just how cute it is to watch them move and follow them, it's important for the sustainability of elephants in North America," Pate said. "This calf and the next one gives us hope that we will start to build a more sustainable population."