Translate Our Site

It's a (big) BOY!

Rozie the elephant gives birth to healthy calf, mother and baby bonding behind the scenes before public debut
May 4, 2018 - Rozie, a 25-year-old Asian elephant, gave birth to her third calf in the early morning hours on May the Fourth. He shares his birthday with his daddy, Samson! 
 
Rozie, proving to be an amazingly consistent mother, gave birth on day 659 of gestation, the exact same day as her previous two calves. The new healthy male calf joins five other members of the ABQ BioPark's Asian elephant herd. 
 
"The birth went perfectly" said Rhonda Saiers, ABQ BioPark elephant manager. "The herd was present and got to share this amazing elephant family moment. "
 
Rozie was allowed to give birth with her mother, Alice, and daughter, Jazmine, present. This enabled Jazmine to witness the birth and to help her learn how to be a mom herself. This natural herd birth is a huge advancement in the care and socialization of Asian elephants in human care.  Rozie was an uneducated female for her first birth, having not witnessed one herself. Elephants need to learn how to parent by watching their families. Today the ABQ BioPark's past 15 years of efforts to train a family herd resulted in this success.

The new calf is the fourth elephant born in New Mexico. Rozie was the first elephant born at the ABQ BioPark Zoo in 1992. She gave birth to Daizy, her first calf, in 2009 and Jazmine in 2013. The multi-generational herd includes Rozie, her mother Alice, daughter Jazmine and the brand new calf. An unrelated female, Irene, is also part of the herd and has been a good aunt. Albert, a young male, can be seen in the yard adjacent to the females. Samson, the father, recently moved to the Oregon Zoo to continue his daddy duties with a new herd.
 
"We are not only thrilled to have a healthy new addition to our BioPark family, but tremendously proud of the innovative approach used to bring the "not so little" one into this world," said Baird Fleming, ABQ BioPark director. "It's a real testament to our staff's understanding and knowledge of our elephant herd and staff's constant push to do the best we can for our elephants and all animals under our care."
 
Asian elephants are endangered with fewer than 50,000 left in the wild. The ABQ BioPark participates in the Elephant Species Survival Plan (SSP), which is managed by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. The SSP boosts elephant reproduction efforts and promotes genetic diversity to build a self-sustaining elephant population in North America.
 
Rozie's new calf is an important addition to the elephant population and to Albuquerque's herd. He will learn how to be an elephant with the guidance of older elephants. And Jazmine, now 4 years old, will learn what it's like to raise a calf, which will help prepare her to be a mother in a few years. The new calf is generally in one of the elephant yards between 11:00 am – 1:00 pm and from 2:00 pm – 3:30 pm, but does have access to their cooler indoor environment, or may be sleeping.