Wednesday, August 27, 2014


Born August 20, 2014
10:55 pm
245 lbs
not yet named 

I'm happy to announce that this not-so-little bundle of joy was finally born! 

Matt and I had already planned to leave August 15th in order to come back to east to prepare for school and spend a little time with our families before heading back to Otterbein for fall semester. Through out the summer we had hoped Semba's baby would come with plenty of time for us to observe and take data on the newborn. Then as time went on and still no baby we began to just hope that the baby would come before we left.  Semba contently carried on with her daily activities showing no signs that labor would be happening anytime soon. 

It was extremely difficult to leave Tucson for multiple reasons. Obviously it was difficult knowing that after all that time we had not been able to see the baby but over the eleven weeks I'd spent there, I made connections with all of the elephant staff and I now felt apart of their family. They had brought Matt and I in with open arms. They even threw a surprise party for my birthday;  the  first year I was away from my family. While they may not realize it, meeting each of them has impacted my life and inspired me to continue doing the work I was a part of this summer. 

In the early morning of Wednesday August 20th, Semba began showing signs the baby was coming. Even being hours away from it all I was still over the moon to know it was finally time! A few hours after the birth Matt and I were told the baby had arrived and it was in fact a girl, what we had all been wishing for! She was seemingly in good health and had no problem nursing from her momma. I was thrilled but it did not come without the sting of sadness knowing I wasn't there to celebrate with the elephant team. But the most important part of it all was the baby was healthy and finally here! 

She began exploring quickly after birth and it wasn't long before the elephant team decided to let her out into the grass yard (much sooner than they had previously thought). She has now met everyone in the herd including her father Mabu. It will probably be awhile before she is allowed on to the pool yard which is closest to the public's view but that is for her own safety. 24 hour watch is still going on as the staff continues to monitor the babies progress and health, along with Semba's and she recovers from labor. As of now the baby elephant will continue to explore the grass yard, building relations within the herd and getting to know the elephant staff. 

Now I'm making plans to return to Tucson and meet the baby I waited eleven weeks to see. I'm trying to fly out over fall break in October and Matt plans to return in December. Unfortunately this time neither of us will have a stipend from the college that helped with travel expenses in the beginning of the summer. I've started a page for donations for anyone willing to help me return to Tucson and see the baby elephant. This page is in no way officiated with Otterbein University or the Reid Park Zoo. 

This will most likely be my last blog post, but I would like to thank Otterbein University Science dept. for awarding me this internship that has changed my life, to the elephant staff and Reid Park Zoo, to everyone that has read my blog and followed me throughout my summer internship. If you would like to continue to see the elephant baby I was recommend following Reid Park Zoo on Facebook as they post pictures, videos and baby updates almost daily (including a video of baby's first mud wallow, too cute not to see!) Also check out their website for more info and access to elephant cams that stream live footage of the herd. 

Thank you!

**All baby elephant photos on this blog were provided by the Reid Park Zoo's Facebook page**