OR officials balance road work, pregnant elephant

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PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) -- Oregon highway officials think they've come up with a plan to balance their need to repave two miles of highway near the Oregon Zoo with the zoo's need to keep a pregnant elephant calm and unstressed.

The Oregonian reports (http://is.gd/kETuvD ) that the challenge of Rose-Tu's pregnancy is a first for transportation officials.

The elephant is due to give birth to her second calf in December.

Zoo elephant curator Bob Lee raised the issue with the Transportation Department, noting elephants are so tuned in to their environment that they not only have great hearing but can feel vibrations in their feet.

Transportation officials say they've worked out a plan to "acclimate" Rose-Tu to the noise by beginning work in the eastbound lanes, farthest from the zoo.

Also, between Nov. 1 and Feb. 28, no work will be allowed in a nearly mile-long buffer zone near the zoo.

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Information from: The Oregonian, http://www.oregonlive.com