Nandi, with mom Semba, was born in August 2014.

The Reid Park Zoo is gearing up to welcome another big bundle of joy after announcing Semba, an African elephant, is pregnant again.

The 29-year-old elephant is expecting her fourth calf by spring 2020. The gender is not known just yet, but Semba is a healthy 6,960 pounds and on track for another healthy delivery, the zoo said.

The animal care staff is watching her carefully to make sure she gets the proper vitamins and minerals and regular checkups.

Once she gives birth, the naming of the calf will soon follow, as it was for Nandi, whose name means “sweet” or “fun” in the Zulu language. The name was picked in a public poll.

The new calf will be the second elephant born at the zoo, and the second born in Arizona. Nandi was the first, on Aug. 20, 2014.

The calf will join father Mabu, big sister Nandi, big brother Sundzu and Lungile, an unrelated elephant brought with the herd to the seven-acre exhibit in 2012.

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Sundzu was born in San Diego when Semba lived there.

The public can watch the elephants play and interact at the zoo’s Expedition Tanzania, which features a 90,000-gallon pool, every day between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m.

Contact Star reporter Shaq Davis at 573-4218 or

On Twitter: @ShaqDavis1


Shaq is a public safety reporter and the Road Runner columnist, keeping readers up to date on transportation news. In 2017, he started as an apprentice and later worked part-time until graduating from the UA and being offered a full-time position in 2018.