Baby Elephant at Pittsburgh Zoo: “Has Taken a Turn for the Worse.”

Our elephant calf is still off exhibit while she’s teething, but keepers continue to spend time with her around the clock and help her learn new things.

Baby Elephant at Pittsburgh Zoo

Baby Elephant at Pittsburgh Zoo

Right now, she is practicing picking up smaller objects with her trunk. One small food item the keepers offer her are Cheerios, but as you might see, sometimes she gets a bit impatient and would prefer the keepers to just hand feed her a whole bunch at a time


For a few weeks we have been writing updates on our elephant calf’s teething process. As adults, we often do not remember what it feels like, but as parents we can often vividly recall how miserable children are when they are teething.

Our elephant has been experiencing this same discomfort. One of the side effects of a sore mouth is a diminished appetite. Sometimes the calf starts to eat, but then pushes her bottle away. Other times, she gulps down her bottle. Unfortunately, this erratic eating pattern has caused her to stop gaining weight

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Supporters react:

Mike Kilgus WPXI seems to be a bit more blunt about the elephant than you are.

Marlyn Price Dear Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium, she NEEDS a name. What do you call her besides the baby elephant?! We love her and she has to have a name. Please and thank you.

Meghan Pierce I hope she gets better. I truly do. Hopefully, she can be a wonderful success story and become just as famous as Fiona the Hippo! 

If this little one survives, we will be able to learn even more about premature elephant calves, which could help not only zoo elephants survive, but also wild ones if their calves are placed into rehab soon enough. Orphaned and premature elephants are a challenge though, regardless of wild or not. 

Also, fun facts, Julie Dulak blocked me. If anyone has any civil questions about any sources I posted in that debate, I would gladly answer them. I do think that elephant care needs to get better, but I also think that that can only be achieved with more research and care of captive elephants. This goes for any animal.

Tee Doerr I hope the zoo is happy now! Shame on you for exploiting this baby . She should have never been on display. A television should have been set up just like with the baby rhino! I see the collection plate is still being passed

Becca Bryan You can't get better ele calf expert advice than the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust. They've been caring for calves for more than 40 years. It was the right move to contact them. Wishing this wee one continues to bottle feed and with vigor.


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Tee Doerr I know humans are able to be kept alive with IV and tube feedings for very long periods of time. Can any of this technology be applied to the baby elephant? has she been able to have contact with the rest of the herd?

Helen Marie Bente I go to the Pittsburgh Zoo with my children and continue a tradition set by my grandmother. The animals are well taken care of and loved. There is no abuse. I went behind the scenes and the improvements of the exhibits are beautiful. The zoo focuses on taking care of their animals and when something happens they mourn the loss of that animal.

I didn't see any sick or dying animald when we were there recently. I didn't see any abuse I seen fresh food and water being supplied, zoo keepers working with the animals and I seen how much they respected the animal. There was not any dirty water or dirty food. The Pittsburgh Zoo is a magical place.

My kids take delight in the knoweldge they receive when we go to the zoo. The Pittsburgh Zoo has done marvelous work with introducing several speices back into the wild throughout the years,break thru research on animal behaviors and husbandry. I have no issue with this belived zoo.

In fact I can't wait to go again. I feel so bad for the calf because if the calf had to be taken away from mom then it was for a good reason. If the mom rejected the calf for any reason then the zoo was morally obligated to take care of the calf. I am ashamed at all you trolls. Have you been to the zoo before??

Did you notice how much hard work they are putting into the zoo? Did you notice how happy yout children were? How many of us can just get up and go to their natural environments? Seriously people back off.

Mary Lynn Poor girl! Having a premie is no joke and until they catch up to the weight they should be for their adjusted age, weight gain/loss is so serious. I hope that her teeth stop hurting her soon so she can not be fed with a tube! Baby girl needs to grow!

Kerri McMullen I cried like a baby when I read this…my heart breaks for her and her friends taking care of her! I know they love her very much!

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