Mother and calf are bonding behind-the-scenes before their public debut.
October 2, 2013
Rozie, a 20-year-old Asian elephant, gave birth to her second calf at 12:37 a.m. on Oct. 2, 2013. After 22 months of waiting, a healthy female calf is finally here, making her the seventh member of the ABQ BioPark’s Asian elephant herd. Watch a video
“Rozie and her calf are doing well and are getting to know each other behind-the-scenes,” said Rhonda Saiers, Elephant Manager. “She is learning to nurse and getting more steady on her feet. She’ll get to meet her sister, Daizy, and grandmother, Alice, within a few days. ”
“We are thrilled about the safe arrival of the elephant calf and look forward to introducing her to Albuquerque in the near future when she is ready to leave the barn,” said Mayor Richard J. Berry. “Our Zoo has an elephant program that is truly world-class, thanks to the hard work of our professional staff and the support from our community. Today, all of us can celebrate!”
The newest addition is the third elephant born in New Mexico. Rozie was the first elephant born at the ABQ BioPark Zoo back in 1992. She gave birth to Daizy, her first calf, in 2009. The multi-generation herd includes Rozie, her mother Alice, daughter Daizy and brand new calf. An unrelated female, Irene, is also part of the herd and has been a good auntie. Samson and Albert, two young males, have formed a bachelor herd, and can be seen in yards adjacent to the females.
“We’re proud to be part of elephant conservation through our breeding program,” said Rick Janser, BioPark Director. “Our diverse herd represents how elephants socialize in the wild, living in groups and raising calves together. It has been a pleasure watching the herd grow, and they have become beloved residents in Albuquerque. These elephants show how conservation programs can help ensure a future for endangered species.”
Asian elephants (Elephas maximus) are endangered with only 40,000 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. She will learn how to be an elephant with the guidance of older elephants. And Daizy, 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 will make her public debut in coming weeks and BioPark Facebook fans will be invited to vote for their favorite name. For more information, email [email protected] or dial 311 locally (505-768-2000).