One BIG Happy Elephant Family

So I am finally updating this blog, almost  a week after the second baby was born. That Friday morning, my cell rang at 5:40, I looked at the number, and was afraid to answer it. With the long gestation, some of us were a little nervous. But I listened to the message, and the news was fabulous. Moja had given birth. Labor only lasted 20 minutes–half the time it took her to push out Victoria. 

By the way, this photo, and the preceding one, are by the Zoo’s photographer, Paul Selvaggio. He, like the rest of the staff, have put in unimaginable hours to be ready for this. Dr. Barbara Baker and Willie Theison declared Moja to be a perfect mom. Exceedingly attentive from the first moments after the baby hit the floor.

And now the dynamic gets really interesting. I took this photo Saturday  morning, thru the window of the Family Room and the line of Zoo visitors stretched down to the Ungulate exhibit. This little baby was not so adventurous right off the bat, and Moja is a more protective mother than Nan. And Victoria was initially none to happy about her little sister. Willie anticipated this, saying that Vic is “The Princess,” which I have mentioned here before. As of today, she seems to be more accepting of her changing role. 

Sunday morning, the introductions all took place, and everything went smoothly, then on Monday, they all went out on exhibit in the morning for a couple of hours for the public to see. Zoo board member, Courtney Borntraeger took these photos ( I was at work) and said she stood there for an hour. Tash, the matriarch, has been horribly jealous of all the attention Willie has been paying the babies and their moms, but tonight( members night at the zoo-7/30), she kept coming over to him, reaching her trunk towards him for attention. He said she had ignored him for several days, letting him know that she was in a bit of a snit. Angelina, a little spitfire who is rushing around everywhere to investigate her world, finally got pushed around a little today by her half-sister. Willie calls the new baby “the pink one” because she is still that pinkish, newborn color. Anyway, when Angelina got pushy, Willie said the new baby started to try to grab Angelina’s ears and trunk, but hasn’t quite gotten the hang of using her trunk, so she finally just pushed Angelina with her head. Toooo cute!!!!! . 

And this is the closest I have been to one of the adorable creatures. That is Willie’s hand, by the way, extended to Angelina. She then went over to another window, where about ten children were pressed up against it, and she looked at them all, right at her eye level, and touched the glass, much to the delight of the kids. There must have been over 9 thousand people there tonight, despite the threatening skies. And the lines to see the babies, both elephants, and the tiger, were long. 

If you are interested in seeing video, the link is http://www.youtube.com/profile_videos?user=PittsburghZoo2008.

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