Trunkline Magazine (Louisville Zoo) December 2018 - Page 12

ZOO NEWS An Addax Birth In case you missed it, the Louisville Zoo welcomed a male Saharan addax calf late this summer in the early morning on Sunday, August 19. The mother is addax Patella and the father is named Laird. This birth marks the 59th calf born here at the Zoo. Addax have been a part of the Zoo’s collection since it opened in 1969. They are listed as critically endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. In 2016, field researchers estimated that less than 100 individuals remain in the remnant wild. You can see our newest addax on exhibit daily with his group in the African zone. Mikki Update Mikki the elephant is over halfway through her 22-month pregnancy. Phew. Keepers are still focused on managing her weight gain to facilitate an easier birth. Mikki’s days right now include regular exercise like walking and leg lifts. Her diet is made up primarily of hay and specialized elephant grain. The hay is sometimes provided in hanging nets to encourage her to stand and move. "Our goal is to not let her gain more than 500 pounds during the course of her pregnancy,” said Dr. Zoli Gyimesi, the Zoo’s lead Veterinarian. “We have a built-in scale in her elephant barn, and we monitor her weight regularly to make sure she's on track. In addition, we have a fitness program." Veterinary staff also performs periodic ultrasounds to see how the calf is doing. In September, vet staff performed an ultrasound at the elephant exhibit training wall so that guests could get a behind-the-scenes view on Mikki’s care. The ultrasound procedure is similar to the human version but involves running water over Mikki’s abdomen to help see the calf. "You can see parts of a foot or rib cage or spine moving about in utero. It's really exciting," Dr. Gyimesi said. Mikki's calf is currently about the size of a bag of potatoes! Be sure to follow the Louisville Zoo on social media to get all our updates on Mikki’s progress. 12 • Louisville Zoo Trunkline • Winter 2018 RIBS Top: Ultrasound being performed. Bottom: Ultrasound of elephant calf.