PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Celebrating a birthday is Samudra, the Oregon Zoo’s youngest elephant. The Asian elephant calf turns 3 years old on Tuesday and keepers say he weighs nearly 3,000 pounds. They say Sam maintains his impressive growth rate by nursing and eating lots of hay and produce. On the fresh food front, he reportedly prefers fruit to vegetables. He and his mother Rose-Tu are offered 100 pounds of fresh food daily.
The zoo says that at 11:15 a.m. Tuesday, visitors can attend a keeper talk and watch Sam enjoy his birthday cake.
The Oregon Zoo’s successful Asian elephant breeding program has spanned nearly 50 years. More than 25 elephants have been born at the zoo, beginning with Packy in 1962. The zoo says Samudra is the first third-generation elephant to be born in the United States.