Newborn elephant arrives at the Toledo Zoo


The new addition was born via an artificial insemination process

Renee's new calf born via artificial insemination. (Photo courtesy of Toledo Zoo)

Renee's new calf born via artificial insemination. (Photo courtesy of Toledo Zoo)

The Toledo Zoo in Ohio welcomed a new baby elephant from African elephant, Renee on February 17, 2024. The male calf was born via a successful artificial insemination process with the father, Titan, chosen from Sedgwick County Zoo in Wichita, Kansas.1 Both zoos worked closely with the Elephant Species Survival Plan (SSP) to ensure a safe and healthy pregnancy for Renee and birth of the baby.

"The birth of this precious baby elephant is such a momentous event," Jeff Sailer, CEO of the Toledo Zoo said in a release.1

"It took months of coordination working with our partners in the field," said Michael Frushour, curator of mammals at the Toledo Zoo. "It takes a special team of experts to perform an elephant AI, and we prioritized working with the best professionals within the United States and the world to make sure that happened."1

African elephant quick facts:1,2

  • African elephants are the largest animals walking the Earth.
  • They are currently classified as "endangered" on the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Red List of Threatened Species.
    • In the 1980s, an estimated 100,000 elephants were killed each year.
  • There are 2 species of African elephants—the savanna (or bush) elephant and the forest elephant.
    • Savanna elephants are larger and have a lighter skin color.
    • Savanna tucks curve upward, while forest tucks grow straight down.

The new calf does not currently have a name and the Toledo Zoo is running a contest to allow the public to select the name. Anyone interested in participating can donate to suggest a name between now and 11:59 p.m. on March 14. To vote, visit According to the release, the winning name will be announced on the Zoo's social media platforms on March 15, and the calf's public exhibit debut will be on the following day, Saturday, March 16.1

Renee arrived at Toledo Zoo in 1982 and is expected to turn 45 years old in June. She weighs 8,300 lbs but during her pregnancy, she reached 8,800 lbs. This is Renee’s third pregnancy, all of which have been through artificial insemination. Her first-born, Louie, now resides at the North Carolina Zoo, while her second-born, Lucas, unfortunately died of Elephant Endotheliotropic Herpesvirus at the age of 9 in 2021.1

Zoo experts at Toledo Zoo chose Renee for preserving the elephant species because of her gentle and cooperative temperament. According to the Toledo Zoo, she enjoys watermelon, warm days, and food puzzles to stimulate her mind.

On April 6, the Zoo is hosting the Elephant Baby Bash party to celebrate the calf and allow public visitors to bring enrichment items from an Amazon wish list.

Renee’s new baby joins 2 other African elephants at the Toledo Zoo: a female, Twiggy and male, Ajani. “Preserving the future of this species is critical to us, and we are committed to doing so. We're looking forward to the new calf joining our elephant family, and we're optimistic that he will fit in just fine," Frushour said.1


  1. Toledo Zoo's elephant herd grows with arrival of newborn calf. News release. Toledo Zoo. March 4, 2024. Accessed March 6, 2024.
  2. African elephant facts. World Wildlife Fund. Accessed March 6, 2024.
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