One of the elephants brought from Swaziland to the Dallas Zoo has given birth to a male elephant calf.
A 175-pound baby elephant was born on May 14, the zoo said. The mother, 14-year-old Mlilo, had arrived at the Dallas Zoo in March with four other elephants.
The Dallas Zoo partnered with the Sedgwick County Zoo in Wichita and the Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha to import 18 African elephants from Swaziland.
“This birth validates the critical importance of our rescue efforts and why we worked so hard to get these animals to safety as quickly as possible,” Gregg Hudson, the Dallas Zoo president and CEO, said in a news release.
The zoos went ahead with the international transfer of elephants despite a lawsuit against the federal government for approving the import.
After the elephants had left Africa, the zoos announced that one of the 18 elephants had died in December. The Dallas Zoo received five elephants, while the zoos in Wichita and Omaha each got six.
The Dallas Zoo says both mother and baby are doing fine.
“The baby is active and exploring the barn, although he doesn’t get too far from mom,” according to the zoo.
The zoo says officials had “some indications of a possible pregnancy in Swaziland, but hormone testing was inconclusive.” Zoo officials say another elephant may be pregnant, but it’s “not something we’re anticipating.”
The new elephant does not yet have a name. It could be several months until guests at the Dallas Zoo see the new pachyderm.
The Sedgwick County Zoo opens its new elephant exhibit to the public on Friday.