PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — The Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium is “anticipating a jumbo delivery,” according to an announcement made Monday.
One of the Zoo’s Botswana elephants, 21-year-old Seeni, is pregnant. An elephant’s gestation is up to 22 months, and Seeni has been pregnant for about 19 months, so estimates are that she may give birth in July 2017.
This is the second pregnancy for the elephant. At 14-years-old, while living at Okavango Delta in Botswana, she delivered her first calf.
Willie Theison, the Zoo’s Elephant Manager, and his team are approaching Seeni’s pregnancy differently.
“Seeni is still building a strong relationship with us,” says Theison. “She knows who we are and she responds well to us, but most importantly she needs to be comfortable with us around her, especially when she gives birth. We have been spending more time with her and working with her so she has that level of comfort.”
Inside The Pittsburgh Zoo’s Elephant Conservation Center
Dr. Barbara Baker, President & CEO of the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium, says the pregnancy is exciting news.
“Visitors love to see elephants and they ask about what is happening to elephants in the wild,” says Dr. Baker. “Every day we hear about poaching and human–elephant conflict due to habitat loss. All of these are taking a toll on elephant populations. We have the best opportunity to educate our visitors and to provide them with information on elephant conservation efforts worldwide and how each individual can help.”
No word yet on if the zoo plans an “April the giraffe” style webcam, but we will be sure to suggest it.