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Newswest 9 | Midland, Texas | newswest9.com

Adorable baby elephant born at the Houston Zoo

The 284-pound Asian elephant calf is bonding with her mom Tupelo at the Zoo's McNair Asian Elephant Habitat.

HOUSTON — The Houston Zoo is celebrating the birth of a baby elephant that weighs a whopping 284 pounds. 

They welcomed the adorable female Wednesday and mom and baby are doing well, acccording to the zoo. 

She's the first calf for 10-year-old Tupelo but mom appears to be a natural. She's been busy bonding with her baby girl in private at the McNair Asian Elephant Habitat. 

The newborn Asian elephant started nursing within hours of her birth and will be closely monitored in the coming days.

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“Our animal team is thrilled that the birth has gone smoothly,” said Lisa Marie Avendano, vice president of animal operations at the Houston Zoo.

The calf doesn't have a name yet but when she does, it will be announced on the zoo's social media pages.

She'll be introduced to the public when the time is right.

Tupelo's pregnancy was the result of artificial insemination because she is related to all the male elephants at the Zoo.  

Tupelo's mom Tess is also expected to give birth soon. This will be the fourth calf for 37-year-old Tess. Along with Tupelo, she is mom to 15-year-old Tucker and 2-year-old Tilly. Her baby daddy is a 55-year-old fellow named Thailand.

There's a bit of a baby boom in the herd of 12. Less than a year ago, a baby named Nelson arrived.

A portion of each  Houston Zoo admission and membership goes to protecting wild elephants in Asia. 

The zoo’s Malaysian conservation team is now watching over and protecting three groups of wild elephants with babies in Borneo.