HOUSTON – The Houston Zoo says one of its Asian elephants is nearing the conclusion of a two-year pregnancy.
“Hope the storks have been working out, because a 250-to-300-pound bundle of joy is headed for the Houston Zoo!” the zoo stated Monday in a press release.
The 26-year-old Asian elephant, Shanti, is expected to give birth this summer.
The mother is one of the Houston Zoo’s eight Asian elephants, and mother to youngest calf, 3-year-old Duncan and 7-year-old Baylor.
Photos: Elephant to give birth soon at Houston Zoo
“Zoo officials are optimistic that this pregnancy is advancing normally and on schedule. Shanti has received nearly two years of pre-natal care by the zoo’s elephant team and four veterinarians with regular ultrasounds and blood work. The zoo team will continue to monitor Shanti as she progresses into the labor process, indicated by a hormonal change in her daily blood analysis,” the zoo stated.
After giving birth, the mom and calf will undergo exams and several days of bonding behind the scenes before making their public debut.
Last month the zoo’s expanded elephant habitat opened, doubling the elephant complex.