Monday, July 7, 2008

If you can't get baby pandas ...

try for baby elephants.

The Memphis Zoo confirmed the pregnancy of African elephant Asali, which — if all goes well — will make her the first elephant to deliver a calf in the Zoo's 102-year history.

Asali was artificially inseminated last September (with material collected from bull elephants at the Jacksonville, Florida, and Pittsburgh zoos. Insert your own joke) and because elephant gestation is 22 long months, should deliver NEXT July.

In anticipation of the birth, the zoo says it will renovate the inside of the elephant barn to provide more stalls and more usable space for the elephants. The elephant yard also will be expanded toward Northwest Passage in the space currently housing the Zoo greenhouses and concessions. (No word on where those things will be moved.)

Over all, the expansion will give the elephants about twice as much space as they have in the current exhibit.

And just because no post about baby zoo animals is complete without a picture, here ya go.

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