Louisville – Fitz and his unique family

Aug 2nd, 2021 | By | Category: Featured articles

2.8.2021 – Photos and story by Molly Merrow

Happy Birthday to little Fitz of the Louisville Zoo. He will be two years old on August 2.

I took the first three photos in January of 2020, when Fitz was just a little under 6 months old, and very little.

Fitz 6 months

Fitz eye 6 month

Fitz tail in face 6

And just a week or two ago, I visited him again, on a sunny July afternoon when he was having so much fun with the dirt and the logs. He especially enjoyed playing with a piece of wood he found. His trunk comes in very handy when he wants to move sticks around.

fitz close

fitz find stick

fitz stick up

fitz wood up

His family is a little unusual, as his mother Mikki is an African elephant, and his Auntie Punch is an Asian elephant. It is rare that zoos mix African and Asian elephants, but it all these two ladies know. And two years ago, little Fitz joined the herd. Elephants are very social, and the two elephants have been together for decades.

Mikki the mom

Punch is the dominant one of the pair. It’s a mixed herd, just two adult female elephants, each from a different part of the world, and now the calf. Mikki is a caring mother. Punch is the disciplinarian, and lets Fitz know when he is out of line.

Punch label

Mother Mikki was born in the wilds of Africa in 1985, and came to the Louisville Zoo in 1987. Punch, the matriarch of the zoo, was born in the wilds of Asia in 1970, and came to the Louisville Zoo in 1973.

fitz door

Fitz was fathered through Artificial Insemination. The sperm donor father is Jack (Jackson), who has fathered a number of other little elephants through AI. Jack has lived mostly in the Pittsburgh Zoo but now lives with four other elephants in the International Conservation Center, a new safari type area founded by the Pittsburgh Zoo.

Fitz is an independent little guy, and loves to run.

fitz running

fitz trot

He also enjoys digging and rolling in the dirt. When it rains, he splashes through every mud puddle he can find. When he was little, he followed his mother about, but now he likes to play on his own, running from one fun activity to another.

fitz get up

Fitz roll

fitz rolling

So let’s wish a happy birthday and more good times to little Fitz and his unusual family.

Fitz walk

fitz trunk

Molly Merrow




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  1. Dear Molly, dear Mervi,

    I love elephants and hardly anyone can resist the charm of the little ones.
    They learn to handle the trunk very clumsily at first and then more and more skillfully.
    It also looks very touching with the threatening ears.

    Have a good time, little Fitz with your lovely family
    and thank you, dear Molly, for the adorable photos!

    Britta-Gudrun

  2. Dear Molly, dear Mervi!
    Thank you for this interesting report. The family is indeed very unique. Fitz is a nice child. I think he does not care that his aunt is an Asian elephant. He does not ask his mother about his father too 🙂
    It is a long time as we visited the zoo Louisville.
    Hugs
    Ludmila

  3. Dear Molly and Mervi
    It is lucky for us that Molly has such excellent zoos in the US that she
    can visit. Thank you for these very special elephant photos.
    I hope that Patricia Roberts will come and have a look here as well

  4. Dear Molly!
    Thank you for introducing little Fitz and his special family to us. He has grown from an enchanting little trunk carrier into a handsome young elephant. I don’t know anyone who doesn’t get a kick out of seeing a playful little elephant. Simply adorable!

    Dear Mervi!
    Thank you for publishing Mollys charming report with its heart-warming photos!

    Hugs
    Anke

  5. Was fĂŒr ein liebenswerter und lebhafter kleiner Elefant ! 😀

  6. Dear Molly!

    What adorable pictures. Simply to melt away.

    I have never seen African and Asian elephants living together before.
    I find this interesting and think it’s great that it works.

    Happy 2. Birthday!!

    Hugs,
    Anita

  7. Thank you very much dear Molly.
    Happy birthday dear Fitz.
    Best wishes to Fitz, Mikki and Punch.

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