There’s an elephant baby boom going on at the Fort Worth Zoo. Zoo officials are trumpeting the deliveries of two Asian elephants this summer—a boy and a girl—as a conservation success for the endangered species.
Last week, the zoo announced the birth of Bowie, a 37.5-inch-tall, 230-pound male that was born August 5. Last month, the zoo announced the July 7 birth of Belle, a 38-inch tall, 330-pound female. The two Asian elephants were the second and third to be born at the zoo.
Bowie’s mother, 14-year-old Bluebonnet, was the first Asian elephant born at the zoo. Belle’s mother, 40-year-old Rasha, is also Bluebonnet’s mother.
Asian elephants were listed as endangered in 1976. They face the challenges of threatened habitat and poaching of male elephants for their ivory tusks. Zoo officials say the zoo breeding programs are important for the future of the species.
“The initial bonding between an elephant calf and its mother is vital to a successful rearing,” the zoo said in an announcement of Bowie’s birth. “As the calf gets acclimated to his surroundings, he will be viewable at various times during the day. Those times will be dictated by his activity level.”
Bowie is named for Alamo hero Jim Bowie.