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Indy Zoo welcomes African Elephant calf on Labor Day

Zahara and Calf Photo 2.jpg
Zahara and Calf Photo.jpg
Posted at 2:04 PM, Sep 05, 2023
and last updated 2023-09-05 22:15:49-04

INDIANAPOLIS — This Labor Day was a special one at the Indianapolis Zoo as they welcome a new baby to the crew.

African elephant Zahara gave birth to a calf shortly after 5:30 a.m. on Monday.

The birth made history as the first elephant in the world (African or Asian) to be born through artificial insemination to a mother who was also born through the same procedure.

“Zahara’s mother Ivory is known for her short labor times, and this baby came quickly as well,” said Assistant Curator of Elephants Niki Kowalski.

The calf weighs 262 pounds, which is a healthy birthweight. Average birthweight for African elephant calves is 226 pounds, with males typically weighing heavier than females, according to the zoo.

Prior to the calf’s birth, Zahara was the Zoo’s youngest elephant, at age 17. Her calf is the seventh to be born at the Indianapolis Zoo.

“We are especially excited as this calf will begin a third generation in the herd at the Zoo,” said President & CEO Robert Shumaker.