IT’S A GIRL! ELEPHANT CALF BORN AT UTAH’S HOGLE ZOO




After
a 22-month pregnancy, Hogle Zoo African elephant Christie has finally given
birth to a female calf August
10, 2009. This is the first baby born to 23-year-old Christie. Interview opportunities with key staff will
be available today only at 3 pm.
It is not yet determined when Christie and
her calf will be on exhibit to the public.

 
The
new elephant calf was born at 1:15 pm Monday August 10. “The birth was
extremely fast.” Hogle Zoo Elephant Manager Doug
Tomkinson says, “It went easy and well, but I can’t believe
how fast it happened.” He adds, “This is something miraculous that has occurred.
It has been years of hard work from the elephant staff and everyone else
involved, and now the calf is finally here.” The calf weighed in at 251 pounds, is 36” tall and has a trunk that
measures 15” in length.

 

 
Now that the elephant calf has been born, the staff is still
working on helping mom and baby become bonded with each other. “Right now we’re
working to get Christie and her calf comfortable around each other,” says Hogle
Zoo Associate Director—Animal Health, Dr. Nancy
Carpenter. “We are also closely watching the health of both
elephants in these important first few days since delivery. The baby has begun
nursing, which is a good sign for us.”  

 
World-renowned elephant
reproductive scientist Dr. Frank Goeritz, one of the team who performed Christie’s artificial
insemination, was also on hand to assist with the delivery if any
obstacles were encountered.

 

 
Christie became
pregnant after three attempts at artificial insemination (AI) in 2006 and 2007.
She was confirmed pregnant through an ultrasound performed on Saturday February
16th, 2008 by the team of German veterinary scientists from the
Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research in Berlin. Though the first two AI attempts
proved unsuccessful, the veterinary team was optimistic about October’s
attempt. “Not only was
the timing good, but Christie’s cooperative behavior was good, and she was very
receptive.” said
German scientist Dr. Frank Goeritz after the February ultrasound.

 

 
The Association of Zoos & Aquariums’ Species Survival Plan
for African elephants recommended Christie as a good candidate for breeding, in
part due to her age. The AZA, of which Hogle Zoo is an accredited member,
strives to maintain a sustainable population of elephants in North
America. The renovations of Hogle Zoo’s Elephant Encounter in 2005
enabled participation in the artificial insemination program, furthering a
commitment to elephant survival. "We are excited and proud
to have our first baby African elephant born at Utah’s Hogle Zoo. This success began with
the community’s support of a better home for our elephants at â€˜Elephant
Encounter,’” says Hogle Zoo Executive Director Craig
Dinsmore. “From that milestone, our elephant and
veterinary staff have dedicated themselves to helping "Christie" elephant
have a healthy baby. This is a tremendous accomplishment for them and for
Christie, and it demonstrates the value of improving the Zoo for all the
animals."

 

 
Conservation, education
and research work done at Hogle Zoo also plays a significant role in the
survival of species in the wild. With successful elephant breeding of this
nature, Hogle Zoo continues to live out its mission to nurture respect and
appreciation for the natural world by providing diverse educational,
recreational, and conservation opportunities that will benefit generations to
come.

 

 
Visit Hogle Zoo online at www.hoglezoo.org or for more information,
contact Community Relations Coordinator Holly Braithwaite
by email at hbraithwaite@hoglezoo.org
or call (801) 584-1729.

 

 
About the Association
of Zoos & Aquariums:
Utah’s Hogle Zoo is one of only 218 institutions
accredited by the Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA).  Look for the AZA logo whenever you visit a
zoo or aquarium as your assurance that you are supporting a facility dedicated
to providing excellent care for animals, a great experience for you, and a better
future for all living things.  AZA is a
leader in global wildlife conservation, and your link to helping animals in
their native habitats. For more information visit www.aza.org.

 
 

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