HOUSTON, TX - There's a new kid on the block at the Houston Zoo. Less than a year after Houston welcomed Asian elephant calf, Joy, a new baby elephant is here to join her, Baby Tilly, and we're just now getting an introduction.
Her mom, 35-year-old Asian elephant, Tess, gave birth to a 345-pound female without complication on June 17th, and the calf began learning how to nurse within the first few hours. The calf has been named Tilly by the team who have dedicated their lives to the care, well-being, and conservation of these incredible animals.
“Our animal team is thrilled that the birth has gone smoothly,” said Lisa Marie Avendano, Vice President of animal operations at the Houston Zoo. “We look forward to continuing to watch Tilly and Tess bond, and introducing her to Houston.”
Tess gave birth in the McNair Asian Elephant Habitat cow barn. She and the calf have spent several days bonding behind the scenes, before they were ready for their public debut. This is the third calf for Tess, who is also mother to Tucker (13) and Tupelo (7), and raises the number of elephants in the Houston Zoo herd to ten, four males and six females.
A portion of each zoo admission and membership goes straight to protecting an estimated 200-250 wild elephants in Asia. The Houston Zoo started its work in Borneo in 2007 and also provides funds for elephant conservationist, Nurzhafarina “Farina” Othman and her team in Asia to put tracking collars on wild elephants.