OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — The Omaha Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium are expecting another baby elephant calf next year.
The announcement was made during a press conference Wednesday that the matriarch of the elephant herd, Jayei, is pregnant. Jayei, who is around 30 years old, is due towards the end of August of 2023.
Zoo staff said Jayei's pregnancy is progressing well and they are monitoring her hormone levels.
In March, the zoo announced elephant Lolly was pregnant. Staff said her pregnancy is also progressing well and she's due in late February or early March of next year.
After Lolly and Jayei give birth, there will be four calves in the herd, along with 6-month-old calves Eugenia and Sonny.
“To have four calves in two years is pretty unusual," said Dennis Pate, the zoo's President and CEO. “Callee (the bull) has been an instant hit with the girls.”
Zoo staff said Eugenia and Sonny are doing "everything little calves should do," and are active and engaged with other herd mates and their environments.
Pate said only two elephant calves have been born in the U.S. this year — both in Omaha.
He said this is good for Omaha because we get to watch them grow up and Omaha is playing an important role in elephant sustainability, but many more should be born in the U.S.
Six elephants are expected to be born in the U.S. next year so far, according to Pate.