Elephant growth watch!
Friday 23 April 2004
Take a peek at our elephant calf's latest stats - and you can even see what she looked like in the womb from her scan picture...
Staff were delighted at the birth of an Asian elephant on Tuesday 16 March. Like all babies, the calf takes a lot of looking after, and keepers regularly weigh the calf to measure her progress.
Below are listed the weights of the calf every week since she was born. As you can see, like all babies the baby elephant did lose a little bit of weight after birth but has gained 8kg in total.
The average birth weight of an Asian elephant is 91kg, making Whipsnades calf one of the largest born in captivity.
Elephant calf with her mother
How the calf measures up:
At birth on 16 March - 149kg
23 March - 138kg
30 March - 140kg
6 April - 137kg
13 April - 143kg
20 April - 157kg
On 19 April our calf was 105cm tall
More baby facts
Elephants live in family groups or herds. When a calf is born the other female elephants in the herd are called "aunties" although the correct term is allo-mother. At the moment, the little calf has met Lucha and Aziza, but is yet to meet the rest of her aunties. The aunties play a very important role as they play with and look after the little calf allowing the mother time to eat and rest so that she can produce milk for the calf.
Ultrasound scan of the baby elephant in the womb At the moment the calf is feeding on milk from her mother and gradually she will eat hay, fruit and vegetables. This week saw the little calf take her first mouthful of hay. Baby elephants feed from the mothers for around three years while also eating vegetation, the calf will learn to feed by watching its mother and other members of the herd.
The calf takes a little while to get trunk co-ordination, at first our calf was only able to wave its trunk in the air and suck on it, however as time has progressed she has learnt enough control to pick up some objects and food.