Omaha zoo celebrates birth of endangered African elephant calf, first born in zoo’s history

It’s always an exciting day at a zoo when a new animal is born. There’s nothing more adorable than the sight of a newborn baby animal.

Recently, one Omaha zoo was blessed with the arrival of a baby African elephant — and to make things even more exciting, it was the first elephant calf born in the zoo’s history.

On January 7, Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium kicked off the new year by making the heartwarming announcement: 18-year-old female elephant Kiki gave birth to her calf.

Happy New Year to us! We’re excited to announce Kiki, an 18-year-old African elephant, gave birth to a calf at 11:33…

Posted by Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium on Friday, January 7, 2022

Zoo staff had been on watch, anticipating the mom would go into labor soon. The zoo said she “delivered the calf with all females in the herd present.”

While the gender and weight of the calf are currently unknown, the zoo reported that both mom and baby were “doing well.”

The father is Callee, a 21-year-old elephant who arrived at the zoo in 2019.

The African elephant is currently considered endangered and critically endangered by the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Populations in the wild have been severely hurt by illegal poaching.

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The Henry Doorly Zoo is accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, and in addition to caring for African elephants in captivity they have been part of elephant protection projects like the 96 Elephants Campaign, which encourages an increased crackdown on the illegal ivory trade, citing that 96 elephants a day are killed for their ivory.

We’re sure that this adorable baby elephant will delight visitors to the zoo, and hopefully inspire more people to care about this threatened speices.

But in the meantime, the calf and her mom are being kept out-of-sight from the public, given some time to bond in private.

“The Elephant Family Quarters is currently closed to allow our animal care staff time to observe bonding, maternal behaviors and nursing,” the zoo wrote. “Visitors will have the opportunity to reserve a timed ticket to see the calf with the herd once the Elephant Family Quarters has reopened.”

The elephant in the room We know you’re super excited to see the calf, so thanks for hanging in there! But just a…

Posted by Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium on Saturday, January 8, 2022

In the meantime, fans can follow the zoo on social media for more pics and updates about the baby’s development.

What an adorable newborn! Welcome this beautiful elephant calf to the world by sharing this great news!

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