The city of Portland is having a baby.... a baby elephant. S/he could be born at any moment. S/he will be the first born of 14 yr old Rose-Tu, who was also born at our zoo. The herd and everyone else is excited. The baby will bring a new life experience to the herd and will help other female elephants learn how to mother a wee one. (Well, not so "wee"... its expected to be 250-300 pounds.)
Above is a file picture. Rose-Tu is on the left and Tusko, a rented stud, is on the right.
The other females have been trying to help Rose-Tu through labor. They were using their tusks to rub Rose's belly yesterday. Can you say awe.
I'll post an update after it happens.
UPDATE: The calf was born this evening after a "difficult delivery." The calf was not moving immediately after birth and Rose-Tu was kicking at it to get it to move (normal behavior). Everyone was concerned about the health of the calf and because the new mom was getting a bit rough, they separated the calf from the mother and helped the baby take its first steps. The baby still needs to be checked out and assuming all is well, the next hurdle will be to see how the herd takes to the little one. Here's a news article about it.