The Houston Zoo has welcomed its new baby elephant, which had been expected late this summer.
— Houston Zoo (@houstonzoo) July 13, 2017
Baby Joy, a girl weighing in at 305 pounds of adorableness, was born at 8:27 p.m. on Wednesday morning.
Since elephants have a gestational period of two years, Joy’s arrival has been long awaited.
Her mother Shanti, a 26-year-old Asian elephant, is already mother to two other calves, Duncan, who is 3, and Baylor, who is 7.
Joy began nursing within 3-hours of her swift and smooth delivery.
Mother and daughter are currently bonding behind the scenes at the zoo and will continue to do so for several days before Joy is introduced to guests.
The zoo unveiled their new, expanded elephant exhibit in May, which they say offers a more immersive experience as well as more room for the animals.
Take a look at our beautiful new elephant habitat that DOUBLES our existing elephant complex. You've gotta see it in person! pic.twitter.com/keP2PQyTyB
— Houston Zoo (@houstonzoo) May 26, 2017
Baby joy is not the only new addition to the zoo. This summer has been the season of babies with births happening all over the zoo.