Diet and exercise ordered for pregnant elephant at Houston Zoo

A pregnant elephant at the Houston Zoo has been put on a diet
Monday, June 16, 2014
A pregnant elephant at the Houston Zoo is being put on a diet.

Zoo officials have determined their 33-year-old Asian elephant female named Tess is overweight, and now she needs to lose 500 pounds before her 2015 due date.

Tess is currently nine months pregnant. A normal elephant pregnancy lasts about 22 months. That means she's got a little more than a year to lose those pachyderm pounds which will help ensure she'll give birth to a healthy baby calf.

So how do you get an elephant to lose weight?

The same way humans do: diet and exercise.

Tess will be eating a specialized, balanced diet of grain, produce, and hay that was developed with the help of nutritionists, and she'll be taken on a brisk walk around the zoo for up to two miles a day. Those daily walks will happen before the Zoo opens to guests.

500 pounds might sound like a lot to lose, but zoo officials say its about the same as asking a 200 pound man to lose 12 pounds.
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