We are excited to announce that 23-year-old Asian elephant Rani is pregnant and due to give birth in summer 2020. An elephant pregnancy lasts about 22 months and a newborn weighs about 250-350 pounds. At this point, the sex of the calf is unknown. The Zoo’s bull elephant, 26-year-old Raja, is the father. “We’re looking forward to the new calf joining our multi-generational elephant family, and we’re optimistic that everything will go well for Rani,” said Katie Pilgram-Kloppe, Acting Curator of River’s Edge at the Saint Louis Zoo, and Assistant Director, Saint Louis Zoo WildCare Institute Center for Asian Elephant Conservation.
Last month we announced the pregnancy of Rani, our 23-year-old Asian elephant. An elephant pregnancy lasts about 22 months, and Rani is due to give birth this summer. Over the next few months, we will follow Rani's journey as she and her caretakers prepare for the impending birth.
As is the case with expectant human mothers, physical fitness and prenatal exercises are an important part of Rani's pregnancy plan. While exercise routines are a staple of the daily care of our three-generation Asian family, Rani gets extra attention from her caretakers during her pregnancy. Similar to humans, it is important for Asian elephants to maintain a strong core, healthy body condition and flexibility to ensure a smooth labor. Through positive reinforcement training and a trusting relationship, Rani's caretakers encourage her to participate in daily "ab workouts," "cardio" and stretching. Rani's family also helps her to stay in shape by joining her in foraging and exploring their habitats. When it's hot outside, they will also take a nice family swim together!
In the first part of our ongoing series, "Rani's Journey," River's Edge Keeper Tori Boston explains some of these vital exercise and training sessions in which Rani voluntarily participates.
In October we announced that our 23-year-old Asian Elephant, Rani, is pregnant and due to give birth this summer. In the second part of our ongoing series, “Rani’s Journey,” Dr. Corinne Kozlowski, Saint Louis Zoo Endocrinologist, describes how they are scientifically monitoring Rani’s progesterone levels (commonly known as the “pregnancy hormone” even in humans), which will help the elephant care staff prepare for the impending birth.