Baby elephant meets big brother Samudra at Oregon Zoo

Baby elephant meets big brother Samudra at Oregon Zoo »Play Video
Samudra, at left behind the 'howdy gate,' meets his little sister for the first time in this still frame from video released by the Oregon Zoo on Wednesday.

PORTLAND, Ore. - It was another big day recently for the newest arrival at the Oregon Zoo as Rose-Tu's week-old calf, an as-yet unnamed girl, met her 4-year-old big brother, Samudra.

Samudra was born at the Oregon Zoo in 2008 to Rose-Tu and Tusko. The zoo released video Wednesday of the two pachyderms meeting for the first time through a gate called the "howdy gate" inside the elephant facility, according to zoo officials.

Hova Najarian with the Oregon Zoo said  the two sibling first met on Saturday.

Samudra and his wide-eyed little sister, who was at first hesitant to approach, eventually rubbed trunks with a little encouragement from mama Rose-Tu, saying hello in a way that only elephants do.

The newborn calf has been the subject of controversy after zoo officials acknowledged she was owned by a California company that uses elephants for entertainment purposes and has been accused of mistreatment by animal rights groups.

However, company officials said Tuesday the elephant will remain at the Oregon Zoo.

None of that seemed to matter as Samudra patiently spent time with his newest family member.

At a press conference Tuesday, elephant curator Bob Lee said the zoo is planning on expanding the zoo's herd of elephants through more births in the future.

Najarain refused to say when the public might get a first glimpse of the baby elephant. "The animal-care staff are completely focused on what's best for the elephants, so we humans will just have to be patient!" he said in an email to KATU.com.

Be he also said that "it shouldn't be too long" before the calf goes on view to zoo visitors.

Video courtesy of the Oregon Zoo