Oregon Zoo staff members are on alert this afternoon, as Rose-Tu is showing signs of early labor. Animal-care staff reported that the Asian elephant, now in her 22nd month of pregnancy, is showing signs of discomfort, an event that usually indicates active labor will begin within 24 hours.
But the waiting isn’t over yet. Once active labor begins, it could still be another day or two before the baby arrives, according to elephant curator Bob Lee, who’s spent much of the past few days monitoring Rose’s progress. Active labor in Asian elephants usually lasts at least 12 hours — and when Rose-Tu gave birth to Samudra in 2008, her labor was three times that long.