Andrew Johnson

Safari Park Welcomes Baby Elephant ‘Umzula-Zuli'

It was World Elephant Day Sunday and, in good timing, a baby elephant was born with an hour to spare at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park.

His name is Umzula-Zuli.

He is the largest elephant to be born at the park, weighing in at 272 pounds. He beat the record by just four pounds.

Typically, calves weigh from 200 to 250 pounds at birth, according to the park.

Umzula-Zuli’s mom, Ndlulamitsi, was the first mother in the park’s herd back in 2010. This is her third calf.

The mom and son duo were released back into their enclosure Monday morning because Umzula-Zuli was doing so well, said park spokesperson Darla Davis.

They first met up with Umngani, who is currently pregnant and due in one month, before meeting the rest of the herd.

When they opened the enclosure’s gate, the elephants came rushing in, throwing around their trunks and trumpeting.

“They were so excited to see him,” Davis said.

This trumpeting is a sign of excitement, not aggression or fear, according to the park.

They continued to follow the baby around all day, keeping him safe and looked after.

The last elephant to be born at the park was in August 2012.

The Safari Park is now the home to 13 elephants, with the kids now more than doubling their parents.

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