Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo to welcome new elephant next year

(Omaha, NE) -- Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium will welcome a new family member next year.

During a Thursday morning press conference, celebrating the five year anniversary of elephants coming back to Omaha's Zoo, president and CEO Dennis Pate announced that one of their African elephants is pregnant.

Pate said that hormone work with the elephants has paid off, and that one of the African elephants, Claire, is expecting. The zoo president said Claire is about halfway through her pregnancy and is due around this time next year. Zoo workers have been able to see some toes of the infant on an ultrasound, Pate said.

Callee, the father, was a welcome addition to the herd, Pate said, with all the female elephants taking an interest in him, and vice versa. With this pregnancy, Callee “is now a proven breeder,” Pate said.

Thursday's press conference marked the fifth anniversary of the zoo's elephants’ arrival from Swaziland, in South Africa.

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