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Omaha zoo welcomes its first baby elephant
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Omaha zoo welcomes its first baby elephant

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Kiki gave berth to a calf on Friday at the Omaha Zoo.

OMAHA — The elephant herd at Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo & Aquarium has grown by one.

Kiki, an 18-year-old African elephant, gave birth to a calf Friday morning.

Mom and baby are doing well, zoo officials said in a news release. Zookeepers do not yet know the gender or weight of the calf. 

It's the first elephant born at the Omaha zoo. 

Kiki's pregnancy was announced in October, six months after zoo officials announced that 12-year-old elephant Claire was pregnant. 

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Kiki, an elephant at Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo & Aquarium, gave birth to a calf Friday. It is the first calf born at the zoo. A second calf is due later this winter.

All the female elephants at the zoo were present when Kiki delivered her calf. 

The Elephant Family Quarters building is closed to the public to allow staff to observe bonding, maternal behaviors and nursing between Kiki and her calf. 

Callee, 21, is the father of both Kiki's calf and Claire's calf. He joined the zoo in 2019 from the Birmingham Zoo in Alabama.

Claire's calf also is due this winter.

Kiki's pregnancy was a bit of a roller coaster for zoo staff. She showed signs of pregnancy around the same time as Claire, but her hormone levels started to drop. 

By spring, a zoo veterinarian heard the baby's heartbeat. 

Claire's pregnancy has been textbook. 

Zoo staff worked on baby-proofing the elephant barn by installing new cameras with better night vision and filling gaps in the enclosure. 

Kiki, Claire and the herd's three other females came to Omaha in 2016 from Swaziland.  

Visitors will get the chance to reserve a timed ticket to see the calf with the herd once the elephant building reopens. Updates on tickets will be available at a later date. 

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