Tampa, FL - December 29,2012
A Tampa zoo has a new baby elephant.
Officials at Lowry Park Zoo say an African elephant named Mbali gave birth to her first calf on Sunday. Mbali was one of 11 elephants rescued from culling in Swaziland, Africa, and brought to the U.S. nearly a decade ago.
The newborn female, sired by a bull named Sdudla, is the second African elephant to be born at Lowry Park, the first from the rescued herd.
Officials say the calf is significant because she introduces new DNA into the gene pool of elephants managed in North America.
Zoo workers are monitoring Mbali and her calf to ensure established nursing and proper maternal behavior. They will soon be reunited with two other mature females, who will help care for the newborn.
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