Nashville Zoo has announced the birth and habitat debut of Otis, the four-week-old male eland calf.

Otis was born on May 9 weighing in at 54 pounds to third-time mom, Indigo and dad, Ochre. The Zoo’s hoofstock team reported that the birth was extremely successful, and Otis was standing and nursing within an hour of being born.  

Otis is Nashville Zoo’s third successful eland birth, including the birth of Olive in spring of 2022 and Murray in the spring of 2021. Nashville Zoo now has 6 eland (3 females and 3 males) in their care including the calf. Otis and Indigo are doing great and can be seen together in the Zoo’s Africa Field habitat with the other eland and species.

Although eland are not endangered in the wild, Nashville Zoo participates in the Eland Species Survival Plan® which helps to ensure genetically diverse populations amongst this species in human care.    Eland (Taurotragus oryx) are native to the grasslands and semi-arid areas of Southeastern Africa. They are the largest antelope species and both males and females have distinct horns that spiral tightly. Eland are an herbivorous species with a diet consisting mainly of leaves, shrubs and bushes and occasionally fruit and bulbs. In the wild, older males tend to be more solitary while females and young eland may form small social groups.  

Nashville Zoo donates to various organizations that support the conservation of species in Africa including International Rhino Foundation and Vulpro, an organization dedicated to saving vultures in the wild. To learn more about Nashville Zoo’s conservation efforts, visit