The Milwaukee County Zoo has announced the birth of a female elk calf, now on public exhibit in the zoo's outdoor Elk Yard.
The unnamed calf was born June 22 to 6-year-old mother Charissa and father Comanche, age 17. Comanche is considered a mature father, according to a news release from the zoo, but so far he is doing "great." The female calf marks the pair's first surviving offspring.
The calf weighed about 40 pounds at birth, according to the release.
Charissa and the baby elk spent the first two weeks of the calf's life in their own separate area. Zookeeperes have monitored the pair closely and report the bond between them is strong. After two weeks the calf began to follow its mother around and was later introduced to the exhibit and the rest of the elk herd.
The calf will nurse from Charissa for the first two to three months of its life and will later move on to eating hay, grass, leaves and young shoots of trees.
The zoo has welcomed a number of new animals in recent months, including the arrival of an 11-year-old female orangutan named Rayma in July, a male harbor seal in June, a male bonobo in May and a female giraffe calf in April.