Lousiville Zoo welcomes baby elephant

Posted at 9:07 AM, Aug 03, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-03 09:37:46-04

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (LEX 18) — The Louisville Zoo announced the birth of a male African elephant calf, saying it is only the second such birth in the zoo's half-century of existance.

Officials said the zoo's 33-year-old African elephant, Mikki, gave birth about 11:30 p.m. Friday.

“Mikki did all the work. Her labor progressed nicely and without complications,” Senior Veterinarian Dr. Zoli Gyimesi said in a statement. “Mikki gave birth to a strong and vigorous bull calf.” According to Dr. Schmitt, “The delivery was textbook. All the staff, both elephant and veterinary staff knew their roles and performed them perfectly.”

Officials said Mikki, the new calf and Mikki's mate, an Asian elephant named Punch, will be secluded off exhibition for an indeterminate amount of time to allow for care and bonding before a public debut.

“It’s an exciting day at the Louisville Zoo,” said Louisville Zoo Director John Walczak. “We are so thrilled for Mikki and this calf. We are grateful to our community for embracing Mikki’s pregnancy and being a part of her journey. Raising a calf is one of the most enriching things an elephant can experience. I am very proud of our staff and the amazing job they did to ensure a smooth and safe pregnancy for Mikki and for the calf during birth.”