Waiting For Baby # 2

No, this is not the second African elephant baby. This is Angelina, the Friday morning after her July 9th birth. Uncle Willie, aka Elephant Manager Willie Theison, showing me how she would come to him when he called her over. Willie tells me she is taller than Victoria was at birth–37 inches, to Vic’s 33. It makes sense, because Nan, Angelina’s mother, is bigger than Moja, Vic’s mom. But Angelina certainly has her daddy’s long legs. Jackson is a VERY tall bull. 

Willie says Angelina is provocative, mischievous, and just full of energy. In her first week, she was running after anything that moved, especially the other young elephants, Victoria and Callee. 

 

This is a photo of Callee, Nan’s bull calf, touching his sister, for what may have been one of the first times. It is that same Friday morning. Up until then, he had run from her, and was so confused about why his mother wasn’t really interested in him anymore. Callee, although he is not yet 8 years old,  appears as large as some adolescent bulls I have seen in the wild. Willie agreed. Obviously, superior nutrition in captivity contributes to that. 

With two calves around, Angelina is anxious to follow them everywhere, which is such a different dynamic than the one that existed for Victoria, the first baby born.  Of course, Victoria, the Princess, as Willie calls her, is trying to ignore her—but she is a force with which to be reckoned.

This is Angelina her first morning on exhibit, playing in the mud for the very first time, 

And Tash, Ms. Matriarch, telling Angelina, with her hind leg, that there are boundaries for little ones. “I am the boss, Baby.”  Watchful Willie standing by. That is how they learn their lessons. 

And above, Angelina discovering the pool with her trunk for the first time. Willie had to keep her from jumping in. Now, 10 days later, she has been immensely entertaining for thousands of visitors, who keep asking, “Where is the next baby?” 

Willie tells me that he thinks it will be in the next couple of days. Blood work is indicating changes, and Moja is just huge. What is more amazing, is that keeper Lisa Fox, the “Bull Babe” who takes care of Jackson, is due to have a baby in August. She sent me this picture, showing her with a tuckered out baby elephant.  I can’t believe she is still working! I am sure she wants to be around for this second birth.

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