Saint Louis Zoo Elephant Close To Delivery
FOREST PARK (KTVI)-Ellie, the Zoo’s pregnant Asian elephant, is getting lots of extra attention as she gets closer to giving birth. The Saint Louis Zoo’s elephant care team and veterinarians have been conducting daily hormone analysis of her blood. Those results show that her progesterone levels have dropped significantly in the last two days.
Studies of elephant births in captivity suggest that decreasing levels of progesterone indicate that the onset of labor is approaching.
Ellie is doing well. This will be her third baby. Blood tests have determined that she is expecting a girl and veterinarians are hopeful for a healthy delivery. By the way, this is the fourth baby for 20-year-old Raja, the first Asian elephant ever born at the Saint Louis Zoo.
Elephant pregnancies usually last between 21 and 23 months and babies can weigh between 250 and 350 pounds at birth.