Baby elephant at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo
Sunday 18 December 2011
Visit our new elephant calf this holiday at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo.
Experienced mum Azizah gave birth to her third baby – a male - after going through the longest pregnancy ever experienced at the Zoo this Autumn. The normal gestation period for an Asian elephant is 22 months but this new calf was sitting comfortably for approximately 700 days – nearly two years!
Despite this, the new calf (who has yet to be named) is also the smallest elephant ever born at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo weighing in at just 104kg, around 16 stone, at birth. At first keepers were not sure whether he would be able to reach his mother’s milk but he quickly learnt to get on his tip-toes and has had no problem feeding.
Elephant keeper Lee Sambrook said:
‘Azizah took to him straightaway and the rest of the herd are so excited to be around the baby and touch it. It is brilliant enrichment because elephants are social animals and having youngsters join the herd is what elephant life is about.’
The baby is venturing out of the elephant barn on warmer days with the rest of the herd where visitors can see him playing with his siblings, George and Donna, and suckling his mum.
Watch the baby elephant playing in the mud in this adorable video: