It's a girl! Reid Park Zoo's African elephant gives birth - Tucson News Now

It's a girl! Reid Park Zoo's African elephant gives birth

The little female and her mother are currently off exhibit. (Source: Reid Park Zoo) The little female and her mother are currently off exhibit. (Source: Reid Park Zoo)
The little female and her mother are currently off exhibit. (Source: Reid Park Zoo) The little female and her mother are currently off exhibit. (Source: Reid Park Zoo)
TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - Semba, a 24-year-old African elephant at Reid Park Zoo finally gave birth to a female calf on Wednesday night.  

According to officials at the zoo, Semba began exhibiting signs of active labor around 10:35 p.m - she had been under observation by keepers since July - when keepers noticed Semba's unusual behavior. She was laying down, walking backwards and extending her tail.  

According to keepers it was not much later that the calf arrived - at 10:55 p.m. - with no assistance needed from staff members.  This is Semba's third successful birth, said zoo officials, but the first one for Reid Park Zoo. 

"We are beyond excited," said Fred Gray, Director of Parks and Recreation in the release. "I could not be more proud of our staff for their hard work and preparation for this important day. Our top priority is the health of Semba and her calf - and I'm pleased to hear they are both doing well.  The City is committed to the future of African elephants and leading the field of elephant care with colleagues.  This is a fitting gift to the Tucson community on our 239th birthday."  

The little female and her mother are currently off exhibit in the Click Family Elephant Care Center, but may be seen on the elephant cam between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. (keep checking!) The rest of the elephant herd will remain on exhibit intermittently throughout the day. 

According to the elephant keepers the first 48 to 72 hours after the calf's birth are most essential for the calf and Semba, it is during this time that the pair will form a strong emotional and physical bond.  No visitors or non-essential staff members are being admitted to the Elephant Care Center during this time.  Zoo officials have said once the little female is nursing regularly and following Semba instinctively, additional areas of the enclosure will be opened for the baby to explore.  

“This birth, literally the largest in the history of the State of Arizona, represents a significant milestone for the Zoo,” said Jason Jacobs, Zoo Administrator. “This birth would not have been possible without the vision and partnership of the City of Tucson, Reid Park Zoo, Reid Park Zoological Society, and San Diego Zoo Global. This calf's arrival is living testament to the dedication of so many generous donors and supporters who worked together to build Expedition Tanzania, with a shared goal of housing a breeding herd of elephants in Tucson. Our Zoo staff looks forward to keeping the community updated on the progress of the calf and the rest of the herd.”

For more information about Reid Park's African elephants click here

Copyright 2014 Tucson News Now. All rights reserved.

  • Local newsMore>>

  • Instrument repair programs keep TUSD music alive, save money

    Instrument repair programs keep TUSD music alive, save money

    Monday, September 25 2017 12:44 PM EDT2017-09-25 16:44:12 GMT
    Technicians repair broken instruments for TUSD, keeping music alive for students and saving district money (Source: Tucson News Now)Technicians repair broken instruments for TUSD, keeping music alive for students and saving district money (Source: Tucson News Now)

    Tucson United School District is working to keep music alive in their district by making sure every student who wants to play an instrument has
    an opportunity. But getting an instrument in every student’s hands is not cheap. However, the district is able to save thousands of dollars by having two instrument repair technicians.

    Tucson United School District is working to keep music alive in their district by making sure every student who wants to play an instrument has
    an opportunity. But getting an instrument in every student’s hands is not cheap. However, the district is able to save thousands of dollars by having two instrument repair technicians.

  • North Korea Foreign Minister calls Trump's tweet a 'declaration of war'

    North Korea Foreign Minister calls Trump's tweet a 'declaration of war'

    Monday, September 25 2017 11:54 AM EDT2017-09-25 15:54:17 GMT

    North Korea's Foreign Minister addressed reporters in New York City Monday morning to respond to President Trump's tweet that North Korea "won't be around much longer." The North Korean FM said that Trump's tweet was a declaration of war, and that his country now has every right to shoot down U.S. military planes. The Foreign Minister said the following through a translator: This comes from someone who is currently holding the seat of the United States presidency. This i...

    North Korea's Foreign Minister addressed reporters in New York City Monday morning to respond to President Trump's tweet that North Korea "won't be around much longer." The North Korean FM said that Trump's tweet was a declaration of war, and that his country now has every right to shoot down U.S. military planes. The Foreign Minister said the following through a translator: This comes from someone who is currently holding the seat of the United States presidency. This i...

  • Tucson Goes Red for Women

    Tucson Goes Red for Women

    Monday, September 25 2017 10:59 AM EDT2017-09-25 14:59:45 GMT

    You might have seen a lot of people wearing red in support of Go Red for Women over the weekend. The group held a luncheon Saturday focusing on women's heart health.

    You might have seen a lot of people wearing red in support of Go Red for Women over the weekend. The group held a luncheon Saturday focusing on women's heart health.

  • Trending StoriesTrending StoriesMore>>

  • North Korean diplomat says Trump has 'declared war'

    North Korean diplomat says Trump has 'declared war'

    Monday, September 25 2017 11:37 AM EDT2017-09-25 15:37:54 GMT
    Monday, September 25 2017 2:40 PM EDT2017-09-25 18:40:18 GMT

    North Korea's foreign minister says Trump's tweet was a declaration of war against his country.

    North Korea's foreign minister says Trump's tweet was a declaration of war against his country.

  • Boy beaten with hammer while protecting sister dies

    Boy beaten with hammer while protecting sister dies

    Sunday, September 24 2017 2:13 AM EDT2017-09-24 06:13:24 GMT
    Sunday, September 24 2017 2:13 AM EDT2017-09-24 06:13:24 GMT

    The suspect in the beatings faces charges of murder, attempted murder, and lewd acts with a child under 14.

    The suspect in the beatings faces charges of murder, attempted murder, and lewd acts with a child under 14.

  • Don't talk about mom: NFL players angry over Trump's insult

    Don't talk about mom: NFL players angry over Trump's insult

    Monday, September 25 2017 2:17 AM EDT2017-09-25 06:17:27 GMT
    Monday, September 25 2017 2:41 PM EDT2017-09-25 18:41:27 GMT

    Players, owners and commissioners past and present chastised the president for his divisive remarks, but the angriest responses came from players upset that he'd insulted their mothers.

    Players, owners and commissioners past and present chastised the president for his divisive remarks, but the angriest responses came from players upset that he'd insulted their mothers.

Powered by Frankly