Elephant born at Reid Park Zoo

Elephant born at Reid Park Zoo

By Phil Villarreal. CREATED Aug 21, 2014

TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - Reid Park Zoo has a fresh arrival -- a baby elephant born Wednesday night. It's the first elephant calf to be born at the zoo. She has yet to be weighed or named.

Semba, the zoo's 24-year-old African elephant, delivered a female calf at 10:55 p.m. Both the mother and calf are doing well, spending quiet time under the watch of the elephant team. The new calf is Semba's third.

Semba went into labor at 10:35 p.m., laying down, walking backwards and extending her tail. She delivered the calf without any help from the staff.

"We are beyond excited," said Fred Gray, Director of Parks and Recreation, in a news release. "I could not be more proud of our staff for their hard work and preparation for this important day. Our top priority is the health of Semba and her calf -- and I'm pleased to hear they are both doing well. The City is committed to the future of African elephants, and leading the field of elephant care with colleagues. This is a fitting gift to the Tucson community on our 239th birthday."

In her first few days of life are essential for the calf to form a physical and emotional bond with Semba. No visitors or non-essential staff members are allowed into the Elephant Care Center during that period. The calf will join the herd after she gains strength.