Reid Park Zoo's baby elephant was born on March 8, 2024.

Reid Park Zoo just welcomed a 265-pound baby.

African elephant Semba gave birth to her third calf in Tucson just after 3:30 a.m. Friday morning. While the sex is still unknown, the baby is standing, nursing and sticking close to mom. Semba, who has been at Reid Park Zoo since 2012 after coming to Tucson from San Diego Zoo’s Safari Park,Β is also doing well, the zoo says.

The baby expands the elephant herd to five, including Semba, allomother Lungile and sisters Nandi and Penzi. Nandi was the first elephant born in Arizona in 2014. Penzi, short for Mapenzi, was born in 2020.

Mabu, who left Reid Park Zoo in 2022, is the father to all three calves. β€œIn the wild, male elephants commonly move between herds for social and breeding purposes. Mimicking this natural behavior, Reid Park Zoo’s bull elephant Mabu has a new home at Fresno Chaffee Zoo,” Reid Park Zoo said in 2022.

Reid Park Zoo's baby elephant was born on March 8, 2024.

β€œNandi really took to her role as a big sister when Penzi was born, and she’s eager to bond with the new calf as well. We’re excited to watch her show Penzi how to be a big sister,” Adam Ramsey, the zoo's director of animal care, said in a press release. The zoo is located atΒ 3400 E. Zoo Court.

For now, Semba and the baby will spend time with one another behind-the-scenes. Zoo staff will monitor the two elephants closely to ensure they're receiving the best care. Β 

Staff began 24-hour monitoring of Semba in late November β€” something that started a few months earlier than normal due to potential medical concerns during this pregnancy.Β 

β€œI want to thank the animal care and veterinary teams for the incredible care they provided for Semba and her calf,” Ramsey said. β€œTo meet the elephants’ needs, more care, monitoring and testing took place during this pregnancy than for any of Semba’s older calves. The team worked very diligently, and are excited to announce that the calf is hitting all their early milestones. Mom and baby both look great following this morning’s birth.”

Reid Park Zoo's baby elephant was born on March 8, 2024.

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Gloria was born and raised in Tucson and is a 2018 University of Arizona grad. From wildflowers to wildlife, she loves all things Tucson and hopes to share her love of the city with readers ✨