Elephant Rose-Tu at Oregon Zoo is expecting again

Elephant Rose-Tu at Oregon Zoo is expecting again

PORTLAND, Ore. - One of the Oregon Zoo's favorite animals, Samudra the elephant won't be the baby of his family much longer. His mother, Rose-Tu, is pregnant for the second time.

Even though she's more than a year from giving birth, the excitement is already building, not with just the zookeepers, but with the crowds too, including 7-year-old Emma McRoy, who has her eye on one of her favorite exhibits at the Oregon Zoo: The elephants.

"It feels like it's kinda in Africa and this is my first time being to the zoo," she said.

But there will soon be one more attraction for her and her mom, Anna, to see.

"It's very exciting, especially after the last time when Samudra was born in 2008. It was just a wonderful time, and we're looking forward to having it happen again," said Mike Keel, director of elephant habitats.

Rose-Tu and Tusko, Samudra's mother and father, are expecting their second child together and zookeepers are watching Rose-Tu very closely.

"We'll make sure she's calm, make sure she's confident in what's going on, make sure she has the other females with her to help give her confidence," said senior zookeeper Bob Lee.

Zookeepers want to make sure there are no scares like what happened when she trampled over Samudra.

"It was kind of a frightening time for her and she felt threatened by the baby and attacked at someone. And so it took us some time to get him back with her," said Keel.

Zookeepers are hoping when the newest addition arrives it will bring as much attention as other elephants have over the years.

"It's a great opportunity for the people of Portland to see the elephant herd grow, to experience their whole lives," said Lee. "A lot of people have been here since Packy's birth. They've experienced his entire life."

While they might not know the sex of the calf yet, Lee is already leaning toward what he would like to see.

"A little girl would be great. We have had a little boy, so a little girl would be great. She would grow up in this matriarchal herd. You're always looking to grow that matriarchal herd, you know, led by females."

Zookeepers said Rose-Tu has been acting a little anxious but is healthy.

Calves grow up fast. Samudra, who's only three, already weighs more than 3,000 pounds. They gain about two and a half pounds every day.