Waiting For The Elephant Babies

I got back from vacation, fully expecting to find two brand new elephant babies—and nothing?! The Sunday and Monday night before I left, I joined the diligent docents to do the baby watch.  That entails staying up for hours, watching a flat screened TV monitor of the elephant, waiting to see if she shows any signs of labor. The first night, Sunday, June 15, from 8 to midnight, Willie Theison was just certain Nan was going to go. So I stayed past my four hours, until 6 am, and then went to work. I slept for about two hours that evening, in the buddha chair (is that what they call it? It looks like a big basket and smelled like elephants–ok with me) in the elephant barn lounge. Yes, they have a lounge, above the stalls, for times like these.  

The docents are lovely–dedicated, knowledgeable, expectant. They go thru 60 hours of training to attain the title, and it was fun talking to them. On the first night, I began my shift with Joanne McEntire. That was the first four hours. Next, Sue Berlinger, and Sue Erikson were on duty.  One was a nurse practioner, the other, a nurse. We just sat and watched Nan eat, sleep, poop, eat, sleep, wander around. 

Well, obviously Nan didn’t go, but I came back the next night to watch from midnight until 4 am on Tuesday morning. Still nothing, but I got to meet more wonderful people. This is keeper, Joe Galvanek, and docents Loretta Horner and Gail Moder. 

I only had a smattering of Internet access on my trip to the Arctic, so I checked for any sign of births, and there was none. Now, I hear Willie thinks Moja is about to pop, and everyone at the zoo is impatient as heck. And the docents are still doing the watched every night. 

This final picture is of the last baby and Willie– Elephant Manager Extraordinaire, at the Zoo Gala last month. Little bull,Callee, is not so little anymore, and is almost eight years old.   Here’s hoping the new little ones arrive healthy, and SOON. 



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