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09/05/2019

Louisville Zoo Elephant Mikki and Calf Make Public Debut

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (Sept. 5, 2019) – Mikki and her one-month-old male calf made their public debut on Thursday, Sept. 5 at the Louisville Zoo.

As this is still an acclimation period for the calf and Mikki, public viewing times will be limited, varied and subject to change. Zoo guests can visit LouisvilleZoo.org/Mikki to see daily updates for elephant viewing.

African elephant Mikki gave birth to the male calf at 11:24 p.m. on Friday, August 2, 2019. It is only the second elephant born at the Louisville Zoo in the Zoo’s 50-year history. During the last month, Mikki and her calf have been bonding in their indoor space and recently started spending mornings outside in the elephant yard before the Zoo opens.

At birth, the calf measured 38.5 inches tall, 30.3 inches long (body, head to tail) and 78 inches from the tip of his trunk to the tip off his tail. The calf currently weighs around 290 pounds.

Mikki gave birth after nearly a 22-month gestation (651 days). She became pregnant through artificial insemination in October 2017 with the help of Dr. Schmitt, the leading North American expert in elephant reproductive physiology and veterinary management. Mikki was carefully monitored and well cared for throughout her pregnancy. Staff worked to regulate Mikki’s diet and exercise her daily in order to minimize weight gain and get her fit for the delivery. Ultrasound exams and blood hormone monitoring were performed regularly to track the pregnancy.

Punch, the Zoo’s Asian elephant and matriarch of the herd, will be on a rotational schedule with Mikki and calf while the herd’s acclimation process continues.

The Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ (AZA) elephant breeding program is administered under the auspices of the Elephant Species Survival Plan (SSP), a cooperative program of all accredited zoos with elephants. The plan promotes the survival of elephant species into the future by providing linkages between zoo animal “ambassadors” and the conservation of their counterparts in the remnant wild.

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Christa Ritchie

Christa Ritchie

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