Houston Zoo's Baby Asian Elephant Adapts To His Herd

Duncan is sticking close to Shanti, his mother after being born last Friday.

The pachyderm's birth was routine with a brief labor and quick delivery.

Daryl Hoffman is the large mammal curator at the Houston Zoo.

"Baby's doing great, gaining weight like he should, eating like he should, everything looks good, we're happy with how things are going."

Keepers waited for Duncan to bond with his mother before introducing him to other members of the herd. Hoffman says Duncan should blend in very nicely.

"He's a little timid at times, but sometimes he's, I guess cocky. When we go in to get his weight in the morning, sometimes he gets a little rambunctious and anxious to be around everybody and excited with things going on but, other than that he's pretty subdued and just kind of sleeps and nurses. That's about it."

Hoffman doesn't anticipate any health issues with Duncan, but will keep him and his mother under a 24-hour watch for the next few weeks.

"There's no normal health issues that we're concerned about, but elephants can get a number of different issues. But right now, all his blood work looks good and he seems healthy and we kind of just focus on the fact that he's healthy and doing good for us."

As the weather warms up, keepers will have him outside more often.

Right now, visitors can see him through the big picture windows at the elephant barn. Duncan is Shanti's fourth calf.

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