Zoo awaits arrival of elephant calf
Num-Oi has a bit of a scratch in December.
Melbourne Zoo is about to welcome a new elephant.
Thirteen-year-old Num-Oi is in labour and her offspring is due any day now, said Melbourne Zoo curator Jan Steele.
‘‘Num-Oi’s doing fine. She’s taking her sweet time about this pregnancy,’’ said Ms Steele.
‘‘I would think she’s probably going to be giving birth in the next 24 hours.’’
Num-Oi came to the zoo from Thailand in 2006. Her mate is Bong-Su, who was born in Malaysia in 1974.
Ms Steele said Num-Oi had been positioning her calf for birth.
‘‘Elephants are unusual in that the calves come out back-feet-first,’’ she said.
‘‘She’s spent the last two days twisting the baby around and putting it in the proper position for birth.’’
The pregnancy - Num-Oi’s first – came via artificial insemination due to difficulties with Bong-Su mating naturally.
Melbourne Zoo has five elephants– four females and one male – and two calves. All of the zoo’s elephants are Asian. Another calf is expected in November.