Toledo Zoo Makes Surprising Announcement About Their New Baby Elephant

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It's time for a do-over for one elephant at the Toledo Zoo in Ohio. The zoo recently shared that they'd made a slight mistake when announcing the gender of their new baby elephant in March. Zookeepers recently confirmed that the calf, Kirk, was not a boy elephant — he was a she.

The zoo announced the gender of the elephant for a second time in a video that's gone viral online.

The clip shows the calf playing around in her enclosure, getting sprayed with a hose, and in general being a sweetie.

"The biggest surprise of the year, isn't SHE lovely," they wrote in the video's caption.

Related: Baby Elephant at Disney's Animal Kingdom Enjoys Her First Day on the Savannah

In a video the Toledo Zoo posted on Facebook, they explained how Kirk was discovered to be a girl.

"We've been monitoring this growth here at the Toledo Zoo," Michael Frushour, General Curator of Endotherms, said in the clip. "And along the way we made an interesting realization. The beautiful baby boy elephant that we've all grown to know and love is actually a female."

If you're wondering how in the world this type of goof happened, it's not as unimaginable as one might think. As Frushour explained, identifying an elephant's gender is trickier than with humans.

"Elephant reproduction organs are very different than us, or even our pets at home," he said. "Especially early in development, the reproductive organs are actually internal and can look very similar and even in palpation, or feeling them, they can feel the same."

"It's not uncommon for something like this to happen," he added, before explaining that some "distinctions" can happen later on in life when the differences between male and female elephants is more apparent.

The zoo first shared footage of the elephant's birth on March 1 and declared that the little one would be called Kirk.

"The Toledo Zoo is thrilled to share the incredible behind-the-scenes footage of African elephant, Renee, giving birth to her male calf on Feb. 17," they wrote in the video's caption.

Now obviously some of those details have changed. But there are certain perks of having a female calf on the grounds

"While this might be very surprising news, we are overjoyed," Frushour explained in the Facebook footage. "Our baby Kirkja can stay with us even longer than we anticipated."

This is because when male baby elephants reach sexual maturity, they need to go off and find a herd of their own. "

Whereas when females reach sexual maturity, they can actually stay with the females of the herd. And with Kirkja that means she gets to stay here with [mom] Renee and Twiggy for the foreseeable future."

On Facebook, the zoo thanked everyone who had been following Kirkja's story so far.

"We’re excited to continue sharing Kirkja’s journey with our community for many years to come," they added in the video's caption.

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