HOUSTON - The Asian elephant enclosure is going to be a popular stop at the Houston Zoo for the foreseeable future. Monday was the first time that five-day-old, 300-pound Joy could be seen by the public.
“Everybody’s excited to see baby Joy,” said elephant keeper Aaron Hallind.
“This is a real treat, to be able to bring my children and my grandchildren here and to be here on the day of Joy’s debut," said patron Linda Lundgren.
While Lundgren’s grandkids are excited to see a newborn pachyderm, they’re not the only ones just giddy with joy.
“My mom loves baby elephants and this is like the happiest day of her universe,” said Lundgren's daughter, Eden Salsman.
“I want one," Lundgren said. "I want a baby elephant. (Of) course I’d like to keep it a baby. Have it in the pool in the backyard."
That’s why her other daughter got her Ellie Phant -- a stuffed version of her favorite animal to take with her around the world.
“Ellie Phant has been to Europe, and she got to come and see Joy on her first day,” Lundgren said.
Why Lundgren's slight obsession with elephants? It’s actually kind of touching.
“They are very family-oriented," Lundgren said. "Elephants mourn. They love. They are emotional. They are totally all about family.”
"They say it takes a village to raise a child," Hallind said. "It's the same with the elephant. The whole elephant herd will actually watch over the baby and make sure that she’s doing great. If she gets a little upset, the whole herd comes running, making sure that she’s OK."
When’s the best time to catch a glimpse of Joy? Well zoo officials said she’ll be in the enclosure at the start of each day during normal zoo hours but not necessarily in the afternoon. In other words, come out in the morning.
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