Meet the baby elephants

The Fort Worth Zoo is home to two elephant calves! Belle, daughter to Rasha, was born July 7, 2013, and Bowie (boo-ee), son to Bluebonnet, was born August 5, 2013. Bowie’s arrival made Rasha a grandmother and Belle an aunt – there are now three generations of elephants at the Fort Worth Zoo, which very much mimics how herds are established in the wild. In total, the Zoo is home to seven Asian elephants: four females and three males.

What a difference a year makes!
Belle and Bowie have more than tripled in size. Belle is 1,721 pounds and 60.5 inches tall, and Bowie is 1,489 pounds and 57 inches tall. As the calves continue to grow, Bowie will eventually pass Belle in height and weight. In their third year, he calves will continue with their behavior training and are expected to exhibit more independence from their mothers. Both calves swim in the pool on a regular basis and you might catch Bowie throwing the large tire around the yard as well.

Around 6 months of age, Bowie began to show signs of tusk development, with ivory emerging through his gums. While they still have some growing to do, his tusks are now visible. Only male Asian elephants have visible tusks; female Asian elephants have tushes, which are similar to tusks, but are shorter and stay hidden under the upper lip. Elephants use their tusks as a tool for digging or as a weapon during mating season. Similar to how humans are right-handed or left-handed, elephants will favor one tusk and use it dominantly over the other.

Belle and Bowie’s arrival caught the attention of Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom, the popular Emmy Award-winning nature show that debuted in the 1960s. The show recently returned as a series of online webisodes and filmed at the Zoo for two days in May 2014, highlighting the Zoo’s three-generation elephant herd and the conservation work the Fort Worth Zoo does locally and abroad. You can watch the webisodes here.


Photo Gallery — Belle & Rasha

Photo Gallery — Bowie & Bluebonnet

Photo Gallery — Belle & Bowie

Adopt the Baby Elephants

Your $40 symbolic adoption will contribute to baby Belle or Bowie’s care and feeding for one full year.

  • Baby elephant plush animal
  • Color photo of your baby elephant
  • Personalized adoption certificate
  • Animal fact sheet
  • Zoo publication

Or adopt both Belle and Bowie, the Pachyderm Pair! For $65, adoption packages include:

  • Personalized adoption certificate
  • Animal fact sheet
  • Zoo publication
  • 4×6 color photo of both baby elephants
  • Two plush elephants

Click here to adopt the baby elephants.

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