Friday, November 30, 2012
You just never know WHAT you're going to find on this blog! The baby elephant in the above photo is only a few hours old!
In Portland, we're pretty serious about our baby elephants. The Oregon Zoo has a world class elephant breeding program. They have a wonderful habitat for their herd and provide elephants to other zoos around the world. This is the 28th elephant born in captivity at the Oregon Zoo. They are leaders in education and research and do great work in preserving the Asian Elephant population. (These zoo elephants are born in captivity- not captured from the wild). While these elephants are captive, what is learned by their presence ultimately results in the preservation of the wild population. Unfortunately, much of the decline of the world's elephant population is political and economical- nothing to do with zoos and breading programs. I have often been at the zoo and marveled at the caring way the handlers interact with their charges. Each time a baby is born at our zoo, there is a "baby watch" with an amazing amount of publicity. Yes- we here in the Portland area have been treated to elephant ultrasounds, and videos of an elephant in labor all week. We've all been waiting anxiously for the last 30 hrs while Rose Tu was in labor, and this morning it was reported that this 300 pound "little" girl was born. There will be a contest to name the new baby and our local news will cover it extensively (understatement). Over the next few years, she will bond with her heard and be raised by her mother and other adult females in her family, and learn and play with her sibling and cousins. Elephants are amazing creatures. It's a happy day in Oregon! Welcome, "little" one!