A bouncing 288-pound baby girl has been born at Disney’s Animal Kingdom theme park, after a 22-month gestation period the new elephant was born late Friday night & has yet to be given a name. Her Mother, Donna, also gave birth to another female named Nadirah back in 2005. After the new birth this weekend Disney boasts a population of thirteen elephants in their park, including five males and eight females.
Accourding to Jackie Ogden, Vice President of Animal Programs and Environmental Initiatives: “Donna became pregnant through artificial insemination in July 2008 and received extensive pre-natal care throughout her pregnancy. In addition to regular ultrasounds, veterinarians and elephant managers monitored her hormone levels on a daily basis to help them determine when she would give birth. Labor appeared imminent last night and the animal care team stayed with her to provide round-the-clock care until the female calf was born around 11:30 p.m.”
Disney is said to be optimisitic about the calf’s survival & report that both her and her Mother are resting comfortably in the backstage animal care area of Kilimanjaro Safaris. After a few weeks of nurturing & care both elephants will return to the habitat where guests can view them from the attraction’s ride vehicles. Disney has always made a financial and ecological commitment to conserving wildlife and nature; the Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund and the Disney Foundation have directed over $1 million to projects in 20 countries to help protect and conserve elephants alone.