Keeper blog: Baby elephant Sam grows up

by Anonymous (not verified) on

So Sam is 2 months old and he is growing in size and confidence daily. You may all be wondering what the little fella has been up to. Most of the time you will see Sam very close to his mum, Azizah, whether between her legs or playing nearby. While Azizah is having her bath, Sam likes to climb on his mum’s face or keep the keepers on their toes by grabbing hold of the hose pipe and running around. He loves being bathed and he lies down, wriggling around enjoying the heated water. During breakfast he’s equally as mischievous; kicking his mum’s cereal around making an awful mess. Azizah is incredibly patient as usual.

Baby elephant Sam at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo

Sam is learning how to use his trunk every day. When he was only days old he would wipe it on the floor, mimicking the adults grazing. A week or so in, he was trying to pick up sticks, which was a struggle initially. After a month he was picking up cabbage leaves and placing them in his mouth, just like an adult would do. Except he only feeds from mum, so rather than eating it, he just walked around with a large leaf in his mouth…very proud of himself!

He sure has a lot of character and he’s a brave little boy too. Sam has decided that the wild roaming Mara are excellent fun to chase. He spreads his ears to make himself look as large as possible and trumpets loudly as they run past. This is however, until he strays too far from mum and then he runs back to her in a little panic.

Baby elephant Sam at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo

On rainy days, Sam loves rolling in the sand or mud along with the entire elephant herd. Of course the elephants are very careful to make sure he’s ok and can even be seen nudging him up the muddy slopes so he can join his siblings.

After such busy days of learning and playing, Sam is very quick to fall asleep as soon as the elephants come in for dinner. Only problem is, that he likes to use their food as a bed! Luckily the other elephants are happy to eat around him!

Baby elephant Sam at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo

This month, Sam met with his dad. Sam was his usual brave self, walking straight up to Emmet and true to form Emmet simply touched Sam gently and carried on socialising with the females. Emmet has proved to be a fantastic father to all his calves and we hope that our young males will be equally as good when it becomes their turn.

Sam is doing really well and we are all very pleased with his progress and his relationships with the other elephants. Sam’s big brother; Scott has shown much more independence since his new brother has arrived, including socialising more with the other elephants and the keepers. It’s great to see these natural family relationships unfolding and the herd dynamics changing. 

Read the first blog: Baby Sam is born

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