Lily the baby elephant turned one on November 30 at the Oregon Zoo. To celebrate, the zoo made a video documenting her first year of development and even gave her a cake. Don't worry, you don't have to sit for a year to see her grow, because the video condenses it down to just two minutes.
Lily weighed 300 pounds at birth, but now comes in at a whopping 1,130. Zookeepers describe her as a spitfire, who is inquisitive and playful.
Cute as Lily and her family may be, the number of Asian elephants in the wild is dwindling. Like their African cousins, Asian elephants face threats from poaching.
According to the World Wide Fund For Nature, poaching Asian elephants for ivory and meat remains a serious problem, but the population mostly suffers from habitat loss and fragmentation. The Oregon Zoo states that "fewer than 40,000 elephants remain in fragmented populations from India to Borneo."
Luckily the zoo is a leader in understanding how to best safeguard Asian elephants. They work with the International Elephant Foundation and the Association of Zoos and Aquariums to conserve elephant habitats. In addition, the zoo works with the National Zoo to research the causes of EEHV, a deadly viral disease affecting both wild elephants and those in captivity.