Meet Zahara: The Newest Addition to the Indianapolis Zoo!

Oct 17, 2023 | Baby Animals

Hello, fellow Indiana Zoo enthusiasts and animal lovers! We are overjoyed to introduce you to a history-making arrival at the Indianapolis Zoo. This isn’t just any ordinary news — we’re celebrating the birth of a beautiful male African elephant calf, born to the first-time mother, Zahara, on Labor Day 2023. And trust us, this little one’s entrance into the world is one for the record books!

A Birth Like No Other

This Labor Day wasn’t just about barbecues and the end of summer celebrations; it marked a historic moment at the Indianapolis Zoo. Zahara, beloved 17-year-old elephant, welcomed her calf into the world shortly after 5:30 p.m. But here’s where it gets even more exciting — this birth is the first of its kind in the world! Both Zahara and her adorable calf were born through artificial insemination, marking a groundbreaking achievement in the world of animal conservation.

A Quick Arrival

The elephant care staff, ever vigilant and dedicated, were on high alert when routine blood tests signaled that Zahara was ready to give birth. Niki Kowalski, Assistant Curator of Elephants, shared the exhilarating moment when, just 20 minutes after showing the initial signs of labor, the calf made his grand entrance. Weighing in at a healthy 262 pounds, he was up and exploring his surroundings within just 10 minutes of birth!

A Growing Family

With the arrival of Zahara’s calf, the Indianapolis Zoo is celebrating the beginning of a third generation in our African elephant herd at the Indianapolis Zoo. Under the watchful eyes of President & CEO Robert Shumaker, the Indianapolis Zoo continues to be a pioneer in African elephant reproduction. Their commitment to creating multi-generational herds not only fosters a natural and healthy social setting for elephants but also inspires visitors to join us in conservation efforts.

Be Part of the Journey

By visiting the Indianapolis Zoo, accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, you’re contributing to the global fight against poaching and playing a vital role in protecting these majestic creatures. Every visit supports field conservation, research, habitat restoration, and initiatives to reduce human-elephant conflicts, ensuring a safe and thriving existence for wild populations.

Mark the Date!

Prepare to be enchanted by the captivating presence of the newest member to the herd! Follow the Indianapolis Zoo’s African Elephant page for updates on when you can come face to face with this little wonder and witness the magical bond between Zahara and her calf.

We’re not just witnessing a birth; we’re part of a historical moment where innovation, care, and passion for wildlife conservation converge. Join us in celebrating, witnessing, and supporting this extraordinary journey of life at the Indianapolis Zoo.

For more stories and updates on our adorable African elephant calf and other residents of zoos across Indiana, keep your eyes on – your ultimate zoo adventure awaits!

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