Celebration of Elephant Herd Begins June 19 at African Summer Festival
After a slow start the outlook for a male African elephant calf born at the San Diego Zoo’s Wild Animal Park is now upbeat. The calf was healthy and nursing after his birth on May 12, but a medical condition with his mother caused him to lose rather than gain weight. His mother, Umoya, is now recovering, which means the calf is too.
The unnamed baby elephant is the third calf born at the Wild Animal Park in 2010. He weighed 220 pounds at birth, lost weight and is now up to 229 pounds and is interacting with other elephants daily, including the two other male calves born in February and April. Thursday some of the youngsters were seen wrestling in the mud.
To celebrate the success of this group, the Park is highlighting elephants during African Summer Festival. Visit the elephant exhibit at 11 a.m. daily to watch the elephants search the 3-acre habitat seeking goodies hidden in the grass, trees or rocks.
The festivities continue during African Summer Festival, which runs June 19 through Sept. 6, with a swirl of activities that represent the wonders of the African continent, including acrobats, storytellers, live drum bands, bead working, a new animal show and Robert, the digital talking zebra.
There are now eight youngsters in the 16-member African elephant herd, ranging from 3 weeks to 6 years old. The herd has doubled its size since the eight adults were rescued from the Kingdom of Swaziland, a small southern African country, where they faced being killed because elephant overpopulation was destroying habitat.
The 1,800-acre San Diego Zoo’s Wild Animal Park is operated by the not-for-profit San Diego Zoo and includes a 900-acre native species reserve. The San Diego Zoo focuses on the conservation of endangered species and their habitats, engages in conservation and research work around the globe, educates millions of individuals a year about wildlife, and maintains accredited horticultural, animal, library and photo collections. The Zoo also manages the San Diego Zoo’s Beckman Center for Conservation Research. The important conservation and science work of these entities is supported in part by The Foundation of the Zoological Society of San Diego.
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