Pittsburgh Zoo just recently saw the premature birth of a female elephant calf who is now just five weeks old. The calf has yet to be named and is currently being cared for by zookeepers around the clock to ensure her health meets expectations.
This special event also spells out a treat for zoo-goers, as the zoo is allowing limited public access to the calf as long as the she appears to be in the mood for visitors. Friday was the first day zoo-goers had the opportunity to view the baby elephant calf, but it won’t be the first time by any means.
Image Credit: Pittsburgh Zoo/YouTube
"We're very excited today because we're able to introduce our little baby elephant to our visitors here at the zoo," said Pittsburgh Zoo president and CEO Dr. Barbara Baker.
"She's now five weeks old, which is a milestone--that's a great thing to say and be able to have made it that far--but she's still a critical care animal, so we're still very careful about how we take care of her and we're very careful with who is in with her and interacting with her."
According to the Pittsburgh Zoo website, she will be on display to the public at the Elephant Care Center from 10 A.M. to 2 P.M. each day, that is, unless zookeepers feel that she isn’t doing well or would prefer to be alone.
These same zookeepers are tending to her feeding needs with a special food formula and are also making sure she gets the love and affection she needs.
The limited public access helps ensure that she will become used to having visitors in the future, which will be required if she is to grow into a full-blown zoo animal someday. This includes getting used to crowds and the associated noises that come with them.
Video footage of the first public interaction is avialable on Pittsburgh Zoo's YouTube channel:
"In this particular room, we can have her have a little time with the visitors and have her get used to the visitors and the sounds of visitors without it being very loud and interactive," Baker continued.
It’s always exhilarating to see baby animals, but we think the little elephant calf is one of the cutest we’ve seen on display for a while. Wouldn't you agree?