Elephant breeding


Elephant mating follow the normal mammal pattern.


Wild elephants normally get a baby every 4-5 years.

There are several problems connected to elephant breeding:

  1. First comes the problem to house males, which is difficult. Males are much more dangerous than females, especially during the musth, an aggressive condition compared with male deer's rut. Some say, that for every bull in captivity, a keeper has been killed, and bulls can also injure cows. This has lead to special, expensive arrangements, as separate barn and enclosures for the bull.
  2. Formerly, bulls had often grown up on circuses with restricted female contact, and was sold or given to the zoo after they becAme uncontrollable, they often exposed general behavioral and medical problems.
  3. Today, most bulls in Zoos are kept in Protected contact conditions, which limits the acces to those bulls, and their care. They may suffer from foot-, and nail problems, or may have restricted contact with the group and the females, since they are impossible to control in interaction with the rest of the group.
  4. In many cases, the females are to old to get pregnant, and may often have unstable and disturbed eystreous-cycles, since female elephants not bred before age of 25 often get more and more "burned out" for every eystreous, and develop cancer in the genital area. They are also often unused to meet bulls, and lack social training in sexual courtship.
  5. There is always a risk that the female will undergo delivery problems, and die.
  6. There is also a high degree of stillbirths, or death during the first month.
  7. The females can be aggressive towards their calves and kill them, a problem that may be solved temporarily, if the cow is well trained, and can be watched by the keepers until she is calm and can be trusted.

The first captive bred elephants in the western hemisphere were born on circuses.
The very first was the male Joe born 31st f May 1875 at Howes Great London Circus (died shortly afterwords) and the second was the female Columbia born 3rd October 1880 on Cooper & Bailey Circus who was 27 seven years on her death 1907, the third was Bridgeport born 1882 at Barnum and Bailey Circus, all three elephants born in U.S.

The first elephant born in a Zoo, was a stillborn calf born 1902 in London Zoo, but bred on Circus. In Buenos Aires Zoo, Argentina, the worlds first Zoo-bred surviving elephant was born 23 february 1905, and got the name Phua Victoria Portena. Unfortunately she died after three years. 1906 the two elephant babies Mdi born in Vienna Zoo. and Editha born in Berlin survived, followed by Kaspar born in Copenhagen Zoo 1907.

But it should take almost hundred years before the captive elephant breeding was becoming really successful, and one way of getting babies in the last decade is by artificial insemination (AI)

Pregnant elephants

There is a very good progress during the last years, even if there has been a lot of stillbirths, and there are presently

45 pregnant captive elephants in the database

StatusNameSpeciesSexBirthParentsLocation
pregnantKinaEMF2009-11-10Alexander x IndraAmersfoort Zoo
pregnantKai Mook (Kai-Mook)EMF2009-05-17Alexander x Khaing Phyo PhyoPlanckendael Zoo
pregnantMaha KumariEMF2007-05-09Bindu x Thiha Phyu (Thi Ha Phyu)Cologne Zoo (Zoo Köln)
pregnantAshaEMF2007-05-07Alexander x Bernhardine (Bernhardini)Dublin Zoo
pregnantMarlarEMF2006-03-30Radsch (Radza, Mysore) x Khaing Lwin HtooCologne Zoo (Zoo Köln)
pregnantMay TaguEMF2005-04-11Luka (Tasa) x Khaing Phyo PhyoPlanckendael Zoo
pregnantAnakEMF2003-07-26Alexander x YasminDublin Zoo
pregnantRyuka (Devi)EMM2000 x Okinawa Zoo
pregnantIndraEMF1999-04-05Ramon x Khine War WarAmersfoort Zoo
pregnantGangaEMF1998 x Merry (Mary)Sunkadakatte elephant camp
pregnantBuaEMF1997 x Kolmarden Zoo (Kolmardens djurpark)
pregnantDunaLAF1996-12-29Chisco x ZambiRhenen Zoo (Ouwehands Dierenpark Rhenen)
pregnantSweniLAF1993 x Wuppertal Zoo
pregnantPrathidaEMF1993 x Thai National Elephant Institute (Thai Elephant Conservation Center, TECC)
pregnantEuang Luang (พังเอื้องหลวง)EMF1993 x Surin elephant study center (Baan Tha Klang Elephant Village)
pregnantMa Ae (Pornsawan)EMF1993 x Thai National Elephant Institute (Thai Elephant Conservation Center, TECC)
pregnantPak BoonEMF1992 x Taronga Zoo
pregnantPorntipEMF1992 x Western Plains Zoo
pregnantLungileLAF1991 x Tucson Reid Park Zoo (Randolph Park Zoo)
pregnantNamwan (Nam Wan)EMF1991 x Ayutthaya Royal Elephant Kraal (Wang Chang Ayutthaya Lae Paniat)
pregnantYasminEMF1990-11-25Ramon x IrmaDublin Zoo
pregnantKarnaudiEMF1990-04-13Vance (Matt) x CarinaBusch Gardens Tampa Bay (Busch Gardens Africa)
pregnantZuzanna (Suse, Zuze)EMF1990-04-05Radsch (Radza, Mysore) x ZitaIchihara Elephant Kingdom (Ichihara Zounokuni)
pregnantLitsembaLAF1990 x Tucson Reid Park Zoo (Randolph Park Zoo)
pregnantMaryLAF1989 x Hwange National Park (Wankie National Park)
pregnantJaimalaEMF1986 x Katarniya Ghat Wildlife Park
pregnantHoaEMF1985 x Leipzig Zoo
pregnantBernhardine (Bernhardini)EMF1984-06-16Ramon x IrmaDublin Zoo
pregnantTong KoonEMF1984 x Cologne Zoo (Zoo Köln)
pregnantWendaEMF1983 x Sompoon Salangam
pregnantKhaing Hnin HninEMF1982-09-13 x Parc Paradisio (Pairi Daiza)
pregnantPang SaoEMF1982 x Maesa Elephant Camp
pregnantKhaing Phyo PhyoEMF1981-08-31 x Planckendael Zoo
pregnantTessEMF1981 x Houston Zoo
pregnantYashodaEMF1979-00-00 x Carl Hagenbecks Tierpark (Stellingen)
pregnantIcky IIEMF1978 x Ringling Brothers Barnum and Bailey Center for Elephant Conservation
pregnantAlanaEMF1976 x Ringling Brothers Barnum and Bailey Center for Elephant Conservation
pregnantPang SarahEMF x Doi Pha Muang Wildlife Sanctuary
pregnantLamouEMF x Unknown
pregnantMoghrey (Mogreygay)EMF x FAE Elephant Hospital
pregnantMomodlohEMF x FAE Elephant Hospital
pregnantMarsiniEMF x Taman Safari Indonesia (Bogor Zoo)
pregnantElettraLAF x Amboseli National Park
pregnantKongngeung EMF x Elephant village (Tiger trails, XL camp)
pregnantJeabEMF x Elephant Rescue Park


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