Did Someone Say Baby Boom?
Meet the Zoo's newest additions! Not only are these babies adorable, but each birth also marks a huge conservation success. Below, you'll get a quick introduction — then you can plan your visit (or visits) to the Zoo and watch these big babies grow!
Did you know Zoo members receive one year of unlimited admission to the Zoo every day (during regular operating hours) plus FREE parking?
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Weather permitting, guests can see Travis in the Elephant Springs habitat daily from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., while his half-brother Brazos (born Oct. 21, 2021) can be seen in the neighboring yard, also from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. daily. Some days, their yard time may be extended, but to be sure you can visit them, stop by between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. When the boys are behind-the-scenes, they’ll be participating in keeper-supervised play dates, training sessions and plenty of naps.
Fort Worth Zoo officials are thrilled to share the news of the birth of a healthy, 37-inch-tall, 270-pound male Asian elephant calf. The newest bundle of joy was born at 2 a.m. on Feb. 23, 2023. This is the fifth calf born at the Fort Worth Zoo, following the arrival of half-brother Brazos born in 2021, Belle, his mother, in 2013, Bowie in 2013 (Bowie now resides at the Oklahoma City Zoo), and aunt, Bluebonnet, in 1998. This newest calf adds to the three generations of elephants that call the Zoo home, which mimics how herds are established in the wild.
This is Belle’s first calf. Belle, now 9.5 years old, was carefully monitored throughout her pregnancy. As part of her prenatal care, she had weekly blood tests to monitor progesterone levels, regular physical examinations, and sonograms. The calf’s father, Romeo, is 30 years old and has lived at the Fort Worth Zoo since 2015.
Both mother and baby boy are doing well. Currently, they are spending time bonding in behind-the-scenes areas of the elephant habitat, Elephant Springs. The initial bonding between an elephant calf, its mother, and family unit is vital to a successful rearing. As he acclimates to his surroundings and continues to grow stronger, the animal care team will determine when a public debut can take place. Temperatures and shifts in weather will also dictate the outdoor schedule. Until then, keep an eye on the Zoo’s social media accounts and website for the most up-to-date information, photos and videos.
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The newest primate is only the second gorilla born in Zoo history. Bruno, a male western lowland gorilla, was born early Sunday morning, Nov. 6, 2022, to parents Gracie and Elmo. His older brother, Gus, was the first gorilla born at the Zoo in 2015.
Bruno is staying close to his mother as he meets other troop members and gets acclimated to his surroundings in the Zoo’s World of Primates habitat. The pair continues to bond but is also fully integrated into the troop, mimicking family dynamics in the wild. He can be seen in both indoor or outdoor areas of the habitat at various times during the day, which will be dictated by weather conditions and his activity level.
The Zoo is incredibly proud to share this conservation success with the community. Western lowland gorillas are listed as critically endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) due to hunting and disease. Gorillas also have an alarmingly low reproductive rate (at an observed rate of 3 percent population increase), so even if there was a drastic decline in hunting and disease, it could take at least 75 years for population recovery to occur in optimistic scenarios. The Zoo participates in a cooperative breeding program for gorillas that maintains a healthy, self-sustaining population of the vulnerable species to help prevent their extinction.
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Watson was born on standing 6 feet, 3 inches tall. Following behind the Zoo’s other boy babies, western lowland gorilla Bruno (November 2022) and Asian elephant Brazos (October 2021), the male giraffe has brought more baby boy joy!
You can see Watson exploring the African Savanna habitat and getting to know his herd members, including baby girl Pele, born this June.
The Fort Worth Zoo houses reticulated giraffes, a name that describes the mammal’s chestnut-brown rectangular markings. Like human fingerprints, each giraffe pattern is different. Native to the African savannas, a giraffe’s most distinguishing feature is its long neck, which can account for 7 feet of its height.
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Weather permitting, guests can see Brazos in the Elephant Springs habitat daily from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., while his half-brother Travis (born Feb. 23, 2023) can be seen in the neighboring yard, also from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. daily. Some days, their yard time may be extended, but to be sure you can visit them, stop by between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. When the boys are behind-the-scenes, they’ll be participating in keeper-supervised play dates, training sessions and plenty of naps.
Brazos turned 1 year old in October 2022 and now stands 5 feet tall and weighs 1,475 pounds. As part of his healthy development, he’s gaining 15 to 30 pounds each week! All Asian elephants grow tusks, but only the male elephants’ are visible from the exterior. (Females have short tusks in their mouths called tushes.) Brazos’ second tusk recently emerged on Dec. 17 but won’t be visible until it’s at least 2 to 3 inches long. He continues the training sessions he began when he was just 3 months old and knows 13 different behaviors to date. Each of these behaviors assist keepers and veterinary staff in his daily care.
Brazos' birth was a major triumph for the endangered Asian elephant species. He is the fourth elephant birth in the Fort Worth Zoo’s 112-year history. Brazos was born to parents Bluebonnet and Romeo. Visit Brazos and the rest of the herd in the Elephant Springs habitat.
Today, only an estimated 30,000 to 40,000 Asian elephants remain in the wild, with about 14,000 kept in managed collections around the world. In April, the Zoo opened its newest habitat, Elephant Springs, which includes multiple lush, green spaces and various watering holes for Asian elephants and greater one-horned rhino to roam. This award-winning, $32 million, state-of-the-art habitat further solidifies the Zoo’s commitment to elephant conservation and management here at home and around the world. Listed as endangered since 1976, populations continue to decline for this species and if the trend continues, zoos are going to be the only place that’s left for these animals. The Asian elephant is one of 68 endangered species at the Fort Worth Zoo.
Visit Brazos at the Zoo