KOTA KINABALU: The pygmy elephant that Sabah donated to a zoo in the United States is expecting her first calf.
According to the Oregon Zoo online portal, the 26-year-old elephant named Chendra is expected to give birth next year.
The report stated that Chendra might have conceived in January this year based on her pregnancy status. Her caretakers are not sure which of the male elephants had mated with her but are certain the males seen with her are two Siamese (Thai) species.
Sabah Wildlife Department assistant director Dr Sen Nathan was elated about the news and said they had been waiting for a long time to see Chendra have a family of her own.
Chendra, an orphan who was rescued from a plantation in Tawau decades ago, was given to the zoo in 1999. The calf will be known as an Asian elephant when it is born, said Dr Sen.
He said Chendra was recently diagnosed with a form of lung infection, but the veterinarians were doing their best to ensure that mother and calf are in the best of health.
“They have to run tests to find out more. But so far, all is fine,” he added.