July 28, 2021

A Ton of Good News

African Elephant Born at the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium’s International Conservation Center


elephant calf

It’s a girl! An African elephant calf was born in the early morning hours of July 18th at the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium’s International Conservation Center (ICC) in Somerset, PA. Both mother and baby are bonding and doing well. The healthy calf was born at just under three feet tall and weighed in at 218 pounds.

This is the first calf for new mom, Sukuri, who had no issues during her pregnancy and is very attentive to her newborn. The pregnancy was a result of natural breeding with resident bull elephant, Jackson.

“We are delighted that the pregnancy and birth went smoothly. Initial introductions are going very well, with both mom and calf staying close to each other,” said Willie Theison, lead elephant care specialist at both the ICC and the Pittsburgh Zoo. “As with any newborn, we are now tracking encouraging progress with parameters like weight, bloodwork, and feeding.”

The baby elephant is expected to remain with her mom at the International Conservation Center in Somerset. Both the ICC and the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium are operated by the Zoological Society of Pittsburgh.

The ICC is located on approximately 1,000 acres in Somerset, PA and is the only facility of its kind in North America that specializes in the care and breeding of African elephants. The ICC enables the Pittsburgh Zoo to play a major leadership role in addressing the needs for the species in North America.

Follow the Zoo on social media @pghzoo for photos and updates.