She's not royalty, but the newest baby at the Zoo is sure to capture a "ton" of attention. Just seven months after the Zoo welcomed an African elephant calf, another was born July 29 at 11:20 p.m. to first-time mother "Matjeka." The newborn, named "Mavi" is the second elephant calf born in Tampa from a herd of 11 elephants rescued from culling in Swaziland, Africa, and brought to the U.S. a decade ago.
As with the female calf born last December, this newborn, sired by "Sdudla," a Swaziland bull, is significant to the population because the calf introduces new DNA into the gene pool of elephants managed in North America, which averages just three or four births each year. She is the first African elephant calf born in 2013 in the population managed by AZA-accredited zoos and wildlife centers in North America, the second born in Tampa from the Swaziland herd, and the third born in the Zoo’s 25-year history.
The newest mom and baby can be seen on exhibit with the herd until the early afternoon, when they return to the barn for a nap.