Louisville Zoo’s baby elephant makes public debut

Louisville Zoo’s baby elephant makes public debut
The Louisville Zoo will hold a contest to name the baby elephant, currently known as "the calf." (Source: Vincent Bradford, WAVE 3 News)

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Late on Friday, August 2, a newborn baby made waves around WAVE Country. Mikki, the Louisville Zoo’s 33-year- old African elephant, gave birth to a boy. It was the second elephant born at the zoo in its 50 year history.

Crowds of people lined the fence to get a chance to look at the newest baby calf. It’s been 15 years since the last elephant was born at the Louisville Zoo. This baby weighs 300 pounds.

The Louisville Zoo's baby elephant strolled around the elephant enclosure with his mother, Mikki.
The Louisville Zoo's baby elephant strolled around the elephant enclosure with his mother, Mikki. (Source: Vincent Bradford, WAVE 3 News)

Baby's watched another baby roll, run and take a break here and there to do what newborns do. John Walczak, the Louisville Zoo director, said the calf is rare because of his maternal genetics. His mother Mikki is not related to any other zoo elephants, but that doesn't mean her baby doesn't behave like every other child.

This birth was Louisville royalty for visitors and was in the works for seven years. Walczak said Mikki was artificially inseminated and good genes was the goal.

Some people changed the course of their day to make their way to the Elephant Encounter. Joy Garab couldn't get over Thursday's moment.

"To see the baby elephant it’s so cute I want to take it home,” said Garab.

Mikki's hormones were monitored for the pregnancy and her window of opportunity to get pregnant cycles every hundred days.

Right now, the baby elephant’s name is “the calf,” but there will be a contest to name him. Check back on wave3.com for details on when the contest will start.

People can visit the elephants from 10 a.m. to Noon most days. Schedules may change based on the animals needs.

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