According to the clock in our room, it was about 5:25 am when my phone rang. This was it – the call that I felt like I’ve been waiting for since at least the beginning of November – and in meetings for long before. After a day or so – frankly, it’s kind of a blur now – in “early” labor, one of the zoo’s Asian elephants, Rose-Tu had moved to active labor around midnight and apparently not interested in prolonging the situation, had given birth a couple of hours later to a healthy female calf. Ten minutes later I was pulling out of the garage and on my way to work, feeling both excited and a bit sad that I wouldn’t be there when my own birthday girl woke up in the morning.
My colleague Krista and I arrived about the same time and were the well-rested ones in the zoo’s marketing department; some others had been there all night. Blurry eyes, however, had zero effect on the pure excitement that permeated the still mostly-dark halls of the office. I
quickly got to work in crafting communications for our donors whom we’d been providing with regular updates on Rose-Tu’s progress the past couple of days. My second role was to help the team with whatever news media needs presented themselves.