Vienna, VA The Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Center for Elephant Conservation (CEC) is thrilled to report that four of its female Asian elephants are pregnant.
We are extremely proud to have four simultaneous pregnancies at the CEC. It speaks volumes about our outstanding breeding and conservation program, as well as the knowledge gained through 130 years of living and working with elephants, said Dr. William Lindsay, director of veterinary medicine for Ringling Bros. Currently, fewer than 50,000 Asian elephants remain on earth, so every Asian elephant calf that is born today helps ensure survival of the species tomorrow.
The newly-expecting pachyderm parents are 25-year old Icky, 33-year-old Mala, 33-year-old Sally and 25-year-old Alana. All four were bred with Charlie, a 30-year old Asian bull elephant who also makes his home at the CEC. The four mothers, who will go through a 22- to 23- month gestation period, are in good health, and are experiencing normal pregnancies. Icky will be the first to deliver in April 2001. Mala is due in November 2001, Sally in January 2002 and Alana will deliver almost a year later in December 2002. Dr. Dennis Schmitt, one of the worlds leading elephant reproduction experts and an associate professor at Southwest Missouri State University, is working with Dr. Lindsay to monitor the pregnancies and will continue to counsel the CEC as it moves forward with its breeding program.
As part of their regular prenatal care, the female elephants are receiving weekly blood tests to monitor progesterone levels, regular physical examinations and ultrasounds. During their last six months of pregnancy, the elephants will gain 300-350 pounds, and by the final three months, the handlers will start sleeping in the barn so they can keep a watchful eye on the elephants. The elephants mammary glands will develop and begin to produce milk in the final month. When their progesterone levels show low readings, labor i
Contact: Katherine Kerley
Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey