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Lily, the Oregon Zoo's baby Asian elephant that was born on Nov. 30, 2012, recently made her public debut. Visitors can see the proud mama Rose-Tu and her new calf together in the indoor gallery of the zoo's Asian elephant exhibit.
Viewing hours are from 10 a.m.-2 p.m., although keepers caution that these hours are subject to change. The well-being of Rose-Tu and her calf are the zoo's top priority, and visitor viewing may be closed if the animal-care staff feels the elephants need some additional quiet time. Changes in schedule will be posted as quickly as possible on the zoo's website. Visitors may also visit the site for updates, photos and videos.
In an effort to accommodate everyone, the zoo is admitting 30 people at a time into the viewing gallery for five minutes each. Visitors who wish to spend more time can get in line again. If the line gets really long, not everyone may be admitted.
No flash photography is permitted in the gallery, and zoo officials have asked that guests remain quiet during their visit to avoid frightening Rose-Tu and Lily. Zoo volunteers will be on hand to answer questions about the elephants.
"We appreciate everyone's patience and cooperation," said Kim Smith, zoo director. "We're taking things slowly to make sure Rose-Tu and her new calf are completely comfortable."
Lily weighed a hefty 300 pounds at birth and has been described by zoo animal-care staff as a "spitfire." Rose-Tu has shown good maternal instincts and remains attentive to her new calf, keepers say.