Rose-Tu, an Asian elephant at the Oregon Zoo, gave birth to a 300-pound female calf early Friday morning.
The birth occurred at 2:17 a.m. Kim Smith, the Oregon Zoo's director, said the calf is "beautiful, healthy, tall and very vigorous."
"As soon as she hit the ground — before she was even out of the amniotic sac — she was wiggling. And she's vocalizing loudly. The first time we heard her, the sound was so deep and loud that we thought it was Shine. She's definitely got a great set of pipes, and it looks like she's going to be a real pistol," Smith said.
Smith said Rose-Tu is doing well after more than 30 hours of labor and more than 21 months of pregnancy, thanks to a daily exercise regimen that has kept her in top shape.
The Portland metro area had been on baby watch since Nov. 25, when Rose-Tu's progesterone levels dropped to near zero, indicating labor should begin soon.
Rose-Tu entered early labor in the afternoon of Nov. 28 and began showing signs of active labor around midnight last night.
Immediately following the birth, the zoo's animal-care staff took the calf aside to clean it and perform a quick veterinary checkup, and they are now working to reintroduce the mother and calf, the zoo said.
There's a noticeable improvement from the last time Rose-Tu gave birth, when she tried to trample Samudra in 2008.
"Rose is doing considerably better this time around," Smith said. "When Samudra was born, it was four days before she would even let him come near her, so we're much farther along this time."
It might still take a little time before the new baby is ready for visitors. Bob Lee, the zoo's elephant curator, said the zookeepers will be paying close attention to the strength of the bond between Rose-Tu and the calf.
"Rose should allow the calf to nurse regularly, sleep, play and generally act like a calf without trying to stop it and control its movements," Lee said. "Then we'll determine whether she's calm and comfortable with staff around. And finally, we want to make sure the calf has had a chance to bond with the rest of the herd."
Copyright 2012 KPTV (Meredith Corporation.) All rights reserved.
Friday, December 6 2013 2:38 PM EST2013-12-06 19:38:52 GMT
Time to celebrate, snowlovers: the white stuff is here.The Oregon Coast and the Willamette Valley woke up to snowfall Friday morning. Students and parents also woke up to news of closed schools as theMore >
Thursday, December 5 2013 8:32 PM EST2013-12-06 01:32:46 GMT
An Amber Alert has been activated in Oregon for a 14-year-old girl from Kennewick, WA. The Amber Alert was first activated in Washington Thursday afternoon. Police said Elizabeth Romero was last seenMore >
An Amber Alert has been activated in Oregon for 14-year-old girl Elizabeth Romero of Kennewick, WA.More >
Thursday, December 5 2013 4:55 PM EST2013-12-05 21:55:17 GMT
Donations poured in Thursday for a woman who live-tweeted about a fatal crash, unaware at the time the victim who died was her own husband. Police said Craig Johnson, 47, was driving north just beforeMore >
Donations poured in Thursday for a woman who live-tweeted about a fatal crash, unaware at the time the victim who died was her own husband.More >
Thursday, December 5 2013 10:51 PM EST2013-12-06 03:51:59 GMT
A Portland man was sentenced to prison Thursday for transporting a teen girl across state lines for prostitution. Anthony Armstrong, 25, pleaded guilty in August to one count of transporting a minor acrossMore >
Anthony Armstrong, 25, pleaded guilty in August to one count of transporting a minor across state lines for prostitution.More >
Friday, December 6 2013 1:28 AM EST2013-12-06 06:28:26 GMT
A second case of disturbing animal abuse has been discovered involving a puppy's mouth tied shut. A man found a puppy in a box with filthy blankets in Kane Park in Gresham at 8 p.m. Wednesday. The puppyMore >
A second case of disturbing animal abuse has been discovered involving a puppy's mouth being tied shut.More >
Thursday, December 5 2013 10:05 PM EST2013-12-06 03:05:35 GMT
Snow is on the way, just not for the Portland metro area. A snowstorm is projected to hit the south Willamette Valley and the Oregon coast Friday. According to Fox 12 Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen,More >
A snowstorm is projected to hit the south Willamette Valley and the Oregon coast, but not the Portland metro area. More >
Thursday, December 5 2013 2:56 PM EST2013-12-05 19:56:09 GMT
Deputies are searching for a 13-year-old runaway who is considered endangered and possibly with a 40-year-old man. Samantha Dodson, 13, of Oregon City, was last seen Tuesday night. Clackamas County deputiesMore >
Authorities say 40-year-old Kelsey McCune is known to make money doing freelance computer work, and he may be carrying large duffel bags and backpacks with camping gear. More >
Thursday, December 5 2013 3:43 PM EST2013-12-05 20:43:54 GMT
A case of measles has been confirmed in a child at Harmony Elementary School in Vancouver. The onset of the child's rash was Nov. 24 and he was at school the following day, according to the Clark CountyMore >
A case of measles has been confirmed in a child at Harmony Elementary School in Vancouver.More >
Wednesday, December 4 2013 8:06 PM EST2013-12-05 01:06:37 GMT
Karyna Douglass is on a mission. She dreamed of joining the army, but when she found out she didn't meet the weight requirements she decided to lose 100 pounds. It all started last year on her birthdayMore >
Karyna Douglass is on a mission. She dreamed of joining the army, but when she found out she didn't meet the weight requirements she decided to lose 100 pounds.More >