Saturday, July 5, 2008 

That is Nan. From this vantage point, you can see just how pregnant she is! One of the keepers told me that her blood levels the last several nights indicate she should give birth soon. But as I said yesterday, she and Moja are still not “over”-due.  

Moja is at about 668 days gestation, and the record for an African elephant in captivity is in the 670’s, but I can’t remember the exact number. The public would be delighted if the babies arrived just days apart. It would be a somewhat unwieldy situation for Willie Theison and his staff. A joy of elephantine proportions, but a logistical nightmare.


And let’s not forget this lovely lady in the photo below. Tash, the matriarch, is my favorite. She has not had any babies, and will probably not be able to have them. But she has grown into her role as “Auntie”, almost magically, when you consider she had not older elephants on which to model her behavior. She will be trumpeting wildly when the births finally happen. I have always loved her, but when we shot the training story, she was so cooperative for me, and the bond became stronger. The people of Pittsburgh are quite fortunate to see the dynamics of an African elephant herd here. And that dynamic can only be good for the elephants. 


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