Wednesday, December 13, 2017
News Roundup

Baby elephant born at Lowry Park Zoo

TAMPA – A female African elephant named Mbali, one of 11 elephants rescued from culling in Swaziland, Africa, and brought to the U.S. nearly a decade ago, gave birth to her first calf, a female, at Tampa's Lowry Park Zoo.

The African elephant birth is the second in the zoo's history, and the first born in Tampa from the rescued herd. The newborn, sired by Sdudla, a Swaziland bull, is significant to the population because the calf introduces new DNA into the gene pool of elephants managed in North America, which averages three or four births each year.

"The birth of this calf demonstrates the maturity of our African elephant care and conservation program," said Dr. Larry Killmar, director of animal science and conservation, said in a news release. "Our elephant facilities and experienced staff allow the zoo to contribute to sustainability strategies for this species, furthering elephant conservation worldwide."

Zoo staff recognized that Mbali was in labor Dec. 23, and worked to keep the pregnant pachyderm comfortable and let nature take its course. The first-time mother and newborn are being monitored around the clock. Raising an elephant is a group effort. Mother and calf will be reunited with two other mature female elephants shortly, who will share the care of the newborn.

An elephant's gestation is as long as 23 months. Although the newborn has yet to be weighed, calves are normally 200 or more pounds at birth, and stand just hours after being born. If all goes well with mother and calf, it is the zoo's goal to keep the herd together.

The newborn calf has not yet been named, but the zoo has extended an invitation to the Reilly family in Swaziland, to select an appropriate name, in honor of their leadership in establishing three national parks for wildlife conservation in that country.

In 2003, Tampa's Lowry Park Zoo, together with San Diego Zoo Global, rescued 11 elephants from Swaziland, Africa, where they were scheduled to be culled (killed) due to park overpopulation. Four of those elephants arrived at Tampa's Lowry Park Zoo and seven went to San Diego. Although three of the original four currently reside in Tampa, the fourth, a bull named Msholo, relocated to San Diego Zoo Global on breeding loan in 2009. The Tampa Bay Times published a special project, called Zoo Story, on the project in 2007.

Mbali, pronounced (um-bal-ee), was born in the wild about 19 years ago. She is the smallest of the adults, weighing 6,500 pounds. The zoo's herd also includes Sdudla (Swazi bull), Matjeka (Swazi cow) and Ellie (the herd's first matriarch). The Zoo's first born elephant, a male named Tamani (born to Ellie in 2005 through artificial insemination), relocated earlier this year to Birmingham Zoo.

Comments
Flipping homes for big profits is getting harder in Tampa Bay

Flipping homes for big profits is getting harder in Tampa Bay

Michael Sadeghpour was just 18 when he did his first flip.Using money saved from a job and borrowed from his grandmother, he bought a foreclosed condo in north Pinellas County for $67,000. He did some inexpensive renovations and flipped it for $125,0...
Updated: 17 minutes ago
The Daystarter: Roy Moore wonít concede Alabama Senate race; ex-Tampa police sergeant learns fate; older Americans take too many unneeded pills; Raysí dilemma: Retool or rebuild?

The Daystarter: Roy Moore wonít concede Alabama Senate race; ex-Tampa police sergeant learns fate; older Americans take too many unneeded pills; Raysí dilemma: Retool or rebuild?

Catching you up on overnight happenings, and what you need to know today.10News WTSPThe latest 7-day forecastē It was cold. Then it was warm. And now it will be cold again. Our yo-yo weather continues as another cold front rolls in and drops tempera...
Updated: 22 minutes ago
Forecast: Warmer temperatures will follow another sunny, crisp day across Tampa Bay

Forecast: Warmer temperatures will follow another sunny, crisp day across Tampa Bay

Another dose of chilly temperatures is in store for the Tampa Bay region before a warming trend takes temperatures back into the 70s through next week.10News WTSPFeels-like temperatures around the Tampa Bay area Dry air and winds from the north are ...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Democrats jubilant, and newly confident about 2018, as Alabama delivers win on Trumpís turf

Democrats jubilant, and newly confident about 2018, as Alabama delivers win on Trumpís turf

The Democratsí seismic victory Tuesday in the unlikely political battleground of Alabama brought jubilation ó and a sudden a rush of confidence ó to a party that has been struggling to gain its footing since Donald Trump won the presidency 13 months ...
Updated: 1 hour ago
6 gift ideas for grandparents and grandchildren to spend more time together

6 gift ideas for grandparents and grandchildren to spend more time together

A grandparent can be a tough person to buy a Christmas gift for. Likewise, many grandparents are stumped on what to get the kids besides some cash. Why not make your Christmas gift something you both want more of: more time together making memories. ...
Published: 12/13/17
Wee Gallery entrepreneurs turned black-and-white baby mural into thriving business

Wee Gallery entrepreneurs turned black-and-white baby mural into thriving business

When Surya Sajnani and Dave Pinto were expecting their first child in 2002, she painted a mural with black and white zebras on one wall of the nursery. The couple had read that a babyís eyes are stimulated by repeating patterns of black and white. "I...
Published: 12/13/17
Daniel Ruth: Buckhorn stood with good ol’ boys as firefighter proved city harassed her

Daniel Ruth: Buckhorn stood with good ol’ boys as firefighter proved city harassed her

They tried to shut her up. They tried to make her go away. They made her life miserable. Yet Tanja Vidovic — persisted. Long before most people had ever heard of the knuckle-dragging sexually harassing escapades of oafs like Harvey Weinstein, ...
Published: 12/13/17
Four ideas for edible gifts you can find throughout Tampa Bay

Four ideas for edible gifts you can find throughout Tampa Bay

Carlynn Crosby, Times correspondent Florida Pure Sea Salt Harvested from Tampa Bay’s waters, these handcrafted salts come in flavors like maple bacon, Sriracha, lemongrass, habanero or black truffle. They retail for $15 a jar online, at flor...
Published: 12/13/17
Former Tampa police sergeant to be sentenced in tax fraud case

Former Tampa police sergeant to be sentenced in tax fraud case

TAMPA ó LaJoyce Houston admits that she benefitted from the proceeds of tax refund fraud.But the former Tampa police sergeant denies that she was ever an active participant in a fraud scheme, according to a memo filed in her federal criminal case. An...
Updated: 25 minutes ago
The Bucsí problem isnít how they finish; itís how they start

The Bucsí problem isnít how they finish; itís how they start

For the second straight week, the Buccaneers had the ball in the final minutes of a tie game.For the second straight week, they could not finish.As disappointing as that might be, they have a larger problem, and one that has existed all season: The B...
Updated: 7 hours ago