Oklahoma City Zoo’s baby elephant steps outside for the first time

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OKLAHOMA CITY - On Thursday, guests at the Oklahoma City Zoo got their first look at the new baby elephant, Kai.

Surrounded by family, Kai got to see the outdoors for the first time.

"What you guys are seeing here is protection, it's growth, it's showing her how to be an elephant," said Nick Newby, elephant manager.

Only a couple of days old, little Kai is learning the ways of life with her mother, Asha, sister Achara and aunt Chandra. It's all hands on deck for the little family after what veterinarians said was a smooth delivery.

"This is Asha's third pregnancy, and she knew exactly what to do," said associate veterinarian Dr. Gretchen Cole. "The birth process was pretty smooth. She was actually only in labor for 15 minutes."

Fifteen minutes sounds nice but, when you consider the 22-month pregnancy and 1,000-pound weight gain, she may have earned it.

If you go out to the zoo, you may be wondering where's Kai's dad, Rex? He lives just next door at Sanctuary Asia.

Male elephants prefer the solitary lifestyle.

"So, they only come into the herd for dates and, then, they go away," Newby said. "So, he spends most of his time by himself, which he prefers, the females prefer."

Though not even a week old yet, Kai's already got some pretty big fans and all the fame appears to be wearing her out a bit. She laid down for a nap after about half an hour of excitement.

If you'd like to see Kai, she's going to be outside at the elephant exhibit every day as long as the weather is nice.

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