POWELL, Ohio — The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium has welcomed two new members to its family.
The zoo announced the arrival of an Asian elephant calf and California sea lion pup on Thursday.
Phoebe, the 33-year-old elephant, was the first to give birth, with her calf arriving shortly after 8:45 p.m. on Wednesday. Lovell, a 6-year-old sea lion, quickly followed suit. Her pup arrived in the early morning hours on Thursday, the zoo said in a release.
Both babies are healthy and adjusting well to their environments, according to zoo officials. The elephant calf is sticking close to mama Phoebe’s legs for now, the zoo said, but is also beginning to check out his surroundings in the zoo’s elephant and rhino building.
Officials say it’s too soon to determine the sex of the sea lion pup. The pup is already active, but won’t be ready for swim lessons until mom decides it’s time.
Interim Columbus Zoo President and CEO Jerry Borin released this statement in response to the births:
“There are so many reasons why these births are cause for celebration. Certainly, these babies are adorable, but they also represent the science, expertise, and collaboration across internal teams and other facilities as we collectively work to help protect these incredible species. A very special thanks to the staff whose hard work and dedication helped to produce these results! We are also proud to share the fantastic news of the arrivals of the elephant calf and sea lion pup with our community, and we thank everyone for their continued support so these efforts can be possible.”
The zoo is still determining a time and date for guests to meet the baby elephant. As for the sea lion pup, guests who reserve a Behind the Marina Sea Lion Tour will have a chance to catch a glimpse of the baby and its mom in the near future. You can learn more here.