Pregnant elephant at zoo

CELEBRATIONS have been in order at Colchester Zoo after one of the elephants has fallen pregnant.It was on January 17 that Colchester Zopo discovered Zola was pregnant after tests were carried out by the German Primate Research Centre in Gottingen.

CELEBRATIONS have been in order at Colchester Zoo after one of the elephants has fallen pregnant.

It was on January 17 that Colchester Zopo discovered Zola was pregnant after tests were carried out by the German Primate Research Centre in Gottingen.

A zoo spokeswoman said: “Keepers at Colchester Zoo were confident that she was indeed pregnant as she had not been in oestrus for some months.

“A birth date is not yet known, however from several observed matings keepers at Colchester Zoo expect it to be around February or March 2008.”

Near to the expected date, blood samples will be submitted to a UK lab in order to check Zola's progesterone levels and this information will narrow down the birth date to within a few days.

Keepers will closely monitor Zola as this is her second pregnancy.

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Unfortunately, although reaching full term with her previous calf, Zola shut her birthing process down and retained the calf so it could not be born alive. Although this is not common it is something that elephants are able to do.