PORTLAND The Oregon Zoo is preparing for the birth of an Asian Elephant. Rose-Tu is close to delivering her second baby calf.
Elephant keepers are checking Rose-Tu s blood for changes in progesterone level, which would indicate labor is ready to begin. So far there s been no change.
But as of Friday Rose s gestation period has lasted five days longer than with her first calf Samudra. So the new calf could be born any day, and zoo officials say Rose is ready.
She s doing great, Rose is really fit. We re watching her weight very closely and making sure that she s healthy and active, and that s really the best thing that you can do to have a successful calf, said Asian Elephant Curator Bob Lee.
When Samudra was born four years ago, things didn t go smoothly. Rose-Tu, as a first mother, became spooked and stomped on the newborn calf. Zookeepers expect she will do better with experience. Still there is a mix of emotions at the zoo.
There s a lot of excitement but there s also a lot of preparation that s gone into it. So it s like with your own kids you re hoping for the best and preparing for the worst, so it s a roller coaster of emotions anytime you work with elephants, that s for sure, said Lee.
The Oregon Zoo has fifty years of experience in birthing and raising Asian Elephants, and a very high success rate to go along with it.
Everyone following Rose-Tu s journey to deliver her second calf is hoping for a healthy finish after 20-plus months. Sara Tucker and her new baby were watching Rose-Tu and Samudra Friday.
She loves the elephants, so we can t wait to see the new baby, said Tucker.