The sex of the baby elephant, which is expected to be born in spring, will be sure only after its birth, but with a new method, which is still in the experimental phase, we can already say whether it is a girl or a boy.
At the birthday party of Arun, the three-year-old elephant, the Budapest Zoo announced that Angele, the female elephant is pregnant again and the next baby elephant in Budapest is expected to be born next spring.
Thanks to ultrasound in case of people, the sex of the baby can be revealed way before birth, usually in the 12-16th weeks of pregnancy. However, due to the large body size of the animal similar examinations are not possible in case of pregnant elephants. Thus, zoos usually reveal the sex of the baby elephants only after their birth.
Although, there is a new method to examine the sex of the unborn offspring by detecting fetal DNA entering the mother elephant’s bloodstream through the placenta. This procedure is used experimentally in case of elephants. Veterinarians from the Zoo and experts from the University of Veterinary Medicine Budapest also took part in the research, blood sample was taken from Angele, which was then examined in the DNA laboratory of the Department of Animal Breeding, Nutrition and Laboratory Animal Science at the University of Veterinary Medicine Budapest.
The latest short film made by the Zoo shows the process, and also the gender of the baby elephant: it’s a girl! Congratulations!