The new male elephant is nursing often from his mother, Umngani. - San Diego Zoological Society
NORTH COUNTY — An African elephant calf was born early Friday morning at the San Diego Zoo's Wild Animal Park.
The little male appears healthy and is nursing often from his mother, Umngani, said zoo spokeswoman Yadira Galindo.
“He's doing great. He is wobbly on his feet, but he is walking around following his mom,” she said.
The calf, as yet unnamed, was born with 2-year-old big sister, Khosi, nearby. Zoo officials intend to keep the trio together as soon as they are sure the baby is getting the needed nutrition from the mother's milk, as his sister is still nursing, too.
Park visitors Friday are able to see the new arrival, as he is toddling around one of the small outdoor yards.
The park's African herd has produced six calves since it arrived from Swaziland in 2003. Five have survived, making the zoo one of the most successful elephant breeding facilities in the United States.
The birth comes shortly after the death last month of the park's oldest elephant, Sunita, an Asian elephant who had lived there since 1974. She was euthanized after more than a year of failing health. Called Nita, she was believed to be at least 60.
Wild Animal Park welcomes baby elephant