Elephant becomes pregnant for the first time in Okinawa

Elephant becomes pregnant for the first time in Okinawa

The Asian elephant Ryuka that has become pregnant. At Okinawa Zoo & Museum on February 10.

February 11, 2014 Ryukyu Shimpo

The Okinawa Zoo & Museum has announced on February 10 that 13-year-old Asian elephant Ryuka is pregnant. It is the first time that an elephant has become pregnant in Okinawa. She is scheduled to give birth around next March. Ten elephants have been born in Japan since the war. The people related to the zoo hope the elephant will be born in Okinawa for the first time.

Her “husband” is 11-year-old Ryuto, which came to the zoo from India with Ryuka in December 2007. The two elephants are around 20 years old in human years. Ryuka, the wife, is older than her “husband.”

Zoo staff saw the two elephants mating for the first time on May 17 last year. After that, they have seven times in four years.

An ultrasound examination carried out in February confirmed that Ryuka is pregnant. It is unclear whether the baby is male or female. A baby elephant weighs four kilograms, the same size as a cat.

Okinawa City Mayor Mitsuko Toman, who is the administrative director of the zoo, said, “Ryuto and Ryuka get on great. I expect to see a new baby.”
Visitors can see Ryuka walking around the zoo every afternoon. The zoo continues to hold exhibitions for visitors to touch Ryuka every Saturday and Sunday.

(English translation by T&CT)

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