The Oklahoma City Zoo and Botanical Garden is dedicated to caring for and connecting wildlife fans to endangered Asian elephants, so it is thrilled to announce that two of its elephants, Asha, 29, and Achara, 9, are pregnant and due in 2025. The OKC Zoo’s veterinary and elephant care teams confirmed both pregnancies through routine blood tests and ultrasounds and share that the moms-to-be are in great health. These teams will continue to monitor Asha and Achara as their pregnancies progress through ongoing exams.

“We’re elated about this anticipated baby boom and the excitement of two calves joining our herd,” said Rachel Emory, OKC Zoo’s curator of elephants. “Every elephant pregnancy is cause for celebration, but this is a monumental occasion as Achara welcomes her first calf, beginning a second generation of elephants at the Zoo. This growth is invaluable for our herd. Not only are we improving our elephants’ lives, wellbeing, and social interactions, but we are helping sustain a future for their wild counterparts in their native habitats.”

The approximate due date for Asha is April 2025. This will be her fifth offspring to be born at the Zoo and fourth fathered by senior bull elephant, Rex, 56. The pair are also parents to Achara, Kairavi, 6, and Rama, 2. Asha’s first offspring and the first elephant born at the Zoo, Malee, died in 2015 at the age of four after succumbing to the deadly elephant endotheliotropic herpesvirus (EEHV).

First-time mom, Achara is expected to give birth in July 2025. The Zoo’s youngest bull elephant, Bowie, (pronounced Boo-ee), 10, is the father. Bowie arrived at the OKC Zoo last fall from the Fort Worth Zoo in Fort Worth, Texas as part of a breeding recommendation from the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) Species Survival Plan® (SSP) for Asian elephants. AZA’s SSP programs are cooperatively managed programs to oversee species populations within AZA accredited zoos and aquariums. The Asian elephant SSP also made the breeding recommendation for Rex and Asha.

Elephants have the longest gestation period of all mammals at 22 months from conception to birth, so Asha and Achara are still in the early stages of their pregnancies. According to the Zoo’s vet and elephant care teams the two pregnancies are advancing on schedule and they are optimistic everything will continue to go smoothly for both moms. Newborn elephants can weigh 200-300 pounds at birth and are standing within minutes of being born.

“Achara is a first-time mom and we understand pregnancy and delivery can carry some risk so preparation is key,” Emory said. “Training is a critical part of the Zoo’s elephant care program and we have been working with Achara since she was young to ready her for motherhood. She voluntarily participates in medical behaviors like ultrasounds through positive reinforcement that are important for pregnancy and calf monitoring. Achara was also present for her sisters’ births and observed mom, Asha, during the birth process.”

For Asha and Achara, their daily routines including diet, exercise, and training will stay consistent through their pregnancies, and they will continue living with their family group. Their caretakers are providing them with exceptional care and lots of extra attention.

“Achara is an incredible big sister, always showing care and concern for her siblings.” Emory added. “We cannot wait to see her step into the role of mom and raising her own calf.”

Asian elephants are endangered, facing ever-changing environments and challenges including human-elephant conflict that threaten the species’ survival. The Oklahoma City Zoo works with global conservation partners and supports ongoing research to ensure a sustainable future for Asian elephants. Asian elephant populations in the wild have fallen below 40,000 individuals. The 13 nations that make up the natural habitat of Asian elephants contain the densest human populations on the planet and, as a result, vital habitat for elephants has been reduced by 85% in 40 years. Asian elephants are also susceptible to EEHV, a fast-moving elephant herpes virus that affects elephants in the wild and in human care with a 60% fatality rate.

Over the past 15 years, the Zoo has contributed more than $450,000 to elephant-related conservation. The Zoo has supported a number of elephant conservation projects in Asia that protect habitat with boots-on-the-ground teams that work to mitigate human-elephant conflict, prevent poaching, and reduce habitat encroachment. The Zoo is currently the only AZA zoo leading research in Sri Lanka to better understand Asian elephant social relationships, land use and the impacts of tourism. Results from this research will help inform wild elephant management in Sri Lanka, which has high levels of human-elephant conflict. Additionally, the Zoo supports AZA’s SAFE: Saving Animals From Extinction program for Asian elephants and its strategic conservation education efforts.

The Zoo’s elephant family includes Asha, Chandra, Achara, Kairavi, Rama, Rex, Kandula, and Bowie, and the countdown is on for two little calves arriving in 2025! For updates on Asha and Achara and all things related to the Zoo’s elephant family, connect with us on social @okczoo.

The Oklahoma City Zoo is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily with the last entry no later than 4 p.m. Guests are encouraged to purchase advance Zoo admission at for faster access. Located at the crossroads of I-44 and I-35, the OKC Zoo is a proud member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, the American Alliance of Museums, and Oklahoma City’s Adventure District. Zoo admission is $16 for adults and $13 for children ages 3-11 and seniors ages 65 and over. Children two and under are admitted free. Membership has its perks! As a ZOOfriends member of the Oklahoma City Zoo, enjoy free admission all year-long, plus many additional benefits and discounts. You will also be supporting the Zoo’s animal family, education programming and conservation initiatives both locally and globally. Join or renew today at

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