Fort Worth Zoo welcomes another Asian elephant calf

New arrival (Photo courtesy Fort Worth Zoo)

The Fort Worth Zoo has another baby Asian elephant.

Zoo officials announced on Friday the arrival Thursday (Feb. 23) of a healthy, 37-inch-tall, 270-pound male Asian elephant calf – the fifth calf born at the zoo and first since the birth of half-brother Brazos in 2021. Previous arrivals were Belle, the new calf’s mother, in 2013; Bowie, in 2013 (Bowie now resides at the Oklahoma City Zoo); and aunt Bluebonnet, in 1998.

The new calf adds to the three generations of elephants residing at the Fort Worth Zoo, which mimics how herds are established in the wild.

This is the first calf for Belle, now 9 1/2 years old, was carefully monitored throughout her pregnancy, zoo officials said in a new release. As part of her prenatal care, she had weekly blood tests to monitor progesterone levels, regular physical examinations, and sonograms. The calf’s father, Romeo, is 30 years old and has lived at the Fort Worth Zoo since 2015.

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Both mother and baby boy are doing well, officials said, and currently, they are spending time bonding in behind-the-scenes areas of the elephant habitat, Elephant Springs.

The initial bonding between an elephant calf, its mother and the family unit is vital to a successful rearing, the zoo said. As he acclimates to his surroundings and continues to grow stronger, the calf’s animal care team will determine when a public debut can take place. Temperatures and shifts in weather will also dictate the outdoor schedule. Meanwhile, the zoo’s social media accounts and website will provide up-to-date information, photos and videos.

Officials said the zoo’s hope is that connecting with the elephants in the Elephant Springs habitat will motivate zoo guests to learn more about the animals and how to save their counterparts in the wild.