photo: Pittsburgh Zoo
A baby elephant born prematurely at a Pennsylvania zoo has been adopted by human caretakers after her mother was unable to care for her. The tiny calf was born one month early at the International Conservation Center in Somerset, Pennsylvania, and after her mother was unable to produce milk, keepers were forced to step in. She was moved to the Pittsburgh Zoo where she was welcomed by an entire team acting as a mother elephant, which included bottle-feeding her, bathing her and even sleeping with her, 24 hours a day.
So far, the elephant is doing well, but veterinarians are monitoring her growth and health around-the-clock to make sure she is gaining weight and staying healthy.
“Currently the focus is to keep the baby warm, ensure that she is bottle fed the best possible replacement milk, track her weight gain and watch closely for any possible red flags that may alert us to any signs of illness so that we may quickly treat her,” the zoo said on a blog page put up to track the newborn’s progress. “Keepers describe her as spunky, but she still has a long road ahead of her.”
The baby hasn’t been named yet, and won’t be on public display for several months.
Want a dose of adorableness right now? Check out the YouTube video (below) of footage from the baby’s first day at the zoo.
What do you think the zoo should name the baby elephant. Tell us in the comments below!