The Fort Worth Zoo says they've got a new baby at the zoo -- an Asian elephant named Brazos born shortly before midnight on Oct. 21.
The zoo said Brazos is the fourth calf born at the Fort Worth Zoo following his mother Bluebonnet in 1998 and his aunt Belle and half-brother Bowie, both born in 2013.
Brazos, who was 37 inches tall and weighed 255-pounds at birth, is growing and gaining about two pounds a day. Brazos is Bluebonnet's second calf; Brazos' dad is 28-year-old Romeo, who has lived at the Fort Worth Zoo since 2015.
The zoo said both Brazos and Bluebonnet are doing well and are spending time bonding in non-public areas.
Photos: Baby Asian Elephant Born at Fort Worth Zoo
"The initial bonding between an elephant calf, its mother, and family unit is vital to successful rearing," the zoo said in a statement, adding that other members of Brazos' herd are beginning to meet their newest family member.
The zoo said Brazos is part of a family three generations deep who were all born in Fort Worth.
The zoo said the elephant's multi-generational family, "mimics how herds are established in the wild. Rasha's birth of Bluebonnet in 1998 marked the first elephant born at the Fort Worth Zoo. In 2013, Rasha delivered Belle, making Bluebonnet a sister, and Bluebonnet delivered Bowie, making Rasha a grandmother and Belle an aunt. Bowie is now a big (half-)brother to Bluebonnet's new calf, Brazos. In total, the Zoo is home to eight Asian elephants: four females and four males," the zoo said in a statement.
As Brazos grows and gets stronger there will be limited hours for public viewing over the next several weeks, the zoo said. The cooler temperatures and winter weather will also dictate his outdoor schedule.
FORT WORTH ZOO
In April, the Zoo opened its newest habitat, the $32 million state-of-the-art Elephant Springs, which includes multiple green spaces, a variety of substrates, and a multitude watering holes for both Asian elephants and greater one-horned rhino to roam.
Listed as endangered since 1976 by U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, Asian elephant populations continue to decline for this species and if the trend continues, zoos are going to be the only place that's left for these animals.