He is a resident of an elephant conservation in The Fort Worth Zoo.
A wide-eyed baby elephant was seen on video at the Fort Worth Zoo spending his day playing with bubbles in his habitat. The Fort Worth Zoo released the touching video on Friday, showing Brazos, an almost-10-month-old baby elephant, for the first time playing with foam, reports Daily Mail. Brazos, who was born on October 21, is the zoo's fourth Asian elephant born since 1986. He was seen opening his lips and shaking his trunk at a wave of bubbles before chasing them away minutes later. At one point, he was spotted with his mouth open in front of a bubble machine, trying to swallow bubbles that came his way.
Staff at the Fort Worth Zoo released the video we all needed — of a baby elephant having the best time popping bubbles. pic.twitter.com/f2whBBGFTH— CNN (@CNN) August 27, 2022
Brazos was born following his mother Bluebonnet in 1998, and his aunt Belle and half-brother Bowie, both born in 2013. Bluebonnet had her second calf and according to zoo authorities, she was closely watched during her pregnancy. She got weekly blood tests to measure progesterone levels, frequent physical examinations, and sonograms as part of her prenatal care. Romeo, the calf's father, is 28 years old and has been living at the Fort Worth Zoo since 2015, per CBS News.
The Fort Worth Zoo has been at the forefront of elephant conservation since it established its elephant breeding program in 1986. The zoo itself, which advertises itself as the "World's Greatest," has already been named USA Today's No.1 Zoo in America for 2020. Associate Professor of Environmental Science at Texas Christian University, Victoria Bennett told TCU 360, "Conservation is a series of management plans, opportunities, and strategies that are put into place that alleviates pressures on species that are vulnerable. Conservation is an important part of zoos, as they provide a source of genetic diversity and preserve biodiversity."
With the exception of Brazos, each elephant here at the Zoo eats an average of 150 to 350 pounds of food per day! Most of the elephants’ diet is hay (90 percent) and the rest is made up of a special elephant grain, fruits, vegetables and browse. pic.twitter.com/Mm9NUDjASX— Fort Worth Zoo (@FortWorthZoo) August 27, 2022
The Zoo opened a new habitat for its eight elephants, four males, and four females, in April. Elephant Springs has various green spaces and diverse surfaces to explore, as well as a beautiful new waterhole to drink and swim in. The $32 million project was funded as the Zoo maintains its commitment to being a leader in elephant conservation. Asian elephant numbers have dropped by nearly half over the previous 75 years, according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, which designated them as endangered in 1976, reports National Geographic.
It is estimated that there are only 20,000 to 40,000 Asian elephants living wild around the globe. The most serious threats to the species are habitat loss, group division, and degradation. Hunters target male Asian elephants in particular for their ivory tusks since female elephants do not have any tusks.
Cover Image Source: CNN/Twitter