Baby elephant born at Columbus Zoo, shows off its cuteness immediately

Asian Elephant Calf 0574 - Grahm S. Jones, Columbus Zoo and Aquarium.jpg
Asian Elephant Calf (Courtesy: Columbus Zoo)

Meet your newest baby obsession.

The Columbus Zoo welcomed an elephant calf early Thursday morning, and the small pachyderm is already showing off its star power with a series of photos that highlight cuteness. The gender of the calf has not yet been determined, but zoo officials say it appears strong.

Mother Phoebe gave birth to the calf at 3:09 a.m. on December 6th.

The calf joins the herd of six Asian elephants in the Asia Quest region. There have been three successful Asian elephant births at the Columbus Zoo throughout its history, all born to Phoebe. But this baby is the first elephant born at the Columbus Zoo in almost 10 years.

Its also the first to be born at the Columbus Zoo as a result of artificial insemination. The father of the calf is not yet known, and will be determined with a DNA test in the coming weeks. The Zoo says artificial insemination is still a rare procedure for elephants but is becoming more frequent in an effort to boost the number of elephants as the population in the wild keeps declining.

Obviously, everyone will want to see the adorableness in person. But the zoo says to give Phoebe and her new baby time to continue developing a strong bond, they're going to remain in a behind-the-scenes area for a while. They'll make sure to let guests know when public viewing information is available.

The public will also get a chance to help name the calf; those details will be announced later.