Trunkline Magazine (Louisville Zoo) June 2018 | Page 11

Above: Mikki walking for daily exercise. yard. If you have visited re- cently, you may have already noticed Mikki engaging in fun and enriching physical activities like standing on her back legs to reach hay- filled bags hanging from the shade structure, bat- ting around hanging tires or even kicking her boomer ball. This is part of Mikki's focused exercise plan which, in addition to increased walking, also includes training for behaviors to help increase the strength of her abdominal muscles, as well as the dispersal of enriching items like alfalfa cubes, grapes and strawber- ries throughout the entire elephant habitat to encour- age Mikki to exercise during foraging. Not only will this exercise help us manage Mikki’s weight, but also improves muscle strength to help her during delivery. Through the analysis of Mikki’s hormone data, the Zoo has concluded that she conceived in October of 2017. Elephant gestation is 20 – 22 months. If all goes as planned, she will likely give birth sometime in mid- to-late summer of 2019, another special occasion to add to the Zoo’s yearlong 50th Anniversary Celebra- tion. We’ll be providing you with periodic updates throughout Mikki’s preg- nancy. Be sure to keep an eye out for our Trunkline Zoo News, E-newsletters and social media channels. Right: Mikki reaches for hay hanging from the shade structure. Below: Close up of Mikki after fun with hay. Louisville Zoo Trunkline • Summer 2018 • 11