HOUSTON — The Houston Zoo has a HUGE Mother’s Day announcement: Asian elephant Tess is pregnant and will give birth this summer!
Tess, one of the Houston Zoo’s nine Asian elephants, is already mom to 13-year-old Tucker and 7-year-old Tupelo.
The 35-year-old elephant miscarried twins in 2014 at the halfway point of her two-year pregnancy.
Zoo officials say they are optimistic that this pregnancy is advancing normally and on schedule.
Photos: Houston Zoo elephant will give birth this summer
Tess 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 her with daily blood analysis for hormone changes that will indicate she is in labor.
After Tess gives birth, she and her baby will spend several days bonding behind the scenes before the newborn makes her public debut.
The elephant team looks forward to watching the pair share several key moments. Nursing, communicating with mom, and hitting weight goals are important milestones for a growing baby elephant.
Last July, the zoo welcomed 305-pound Joy, born to mother Shanti. Joy now weighs nearly 1,300-pounds, and is thriving under the care of her mother, aunties and animal care team as she approaches her first birthday.
Just by visiting the Houston Zoo, guests help save baby elephants and their families in the wild. A portion of each zoo admission and membership goes straight to protecting wild elephants in Asia.