Chester Zoo’s newest elephant herd member, Nandita Hi Way already knows how to have a fun time spending half an hour yesterday slipping and sliding in the mud.
Team manager of elephant’s at the zoo, Andy Mckenzie said, “Our new calf Nandita Hi Way is only a few days old but she’s wasted no time in diving in to enjoy a splash with the others. All of the family really look out for her, and mum Thi in particular is never far away – always there to lend a helping trunk should Nandita need a bit of mud wiping away from her eyes and ears.”
Mum Thi Hi Way is proving to be a doting mother lending a trunk to help her clean up. 5 of the other herd members were also on hand to join in the fun. The close family are related across four generations.
Nandita is just 7 days old having been born on August 20th.
“The herd often like to play in mud and, on warmer days, it’s a great way for them to cool off. Wallowing in mud also helps to keep the elephants’ skin healthy and they can usually be seen dust bathing in sand and scratching on branches and rocks afterwards,” added Mckenzie.
Nandita was born as part of a breeding program for her species across Europe. The program is important to saving this species which the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) view Asian elephants as at a high risk of going extinct.
They are under threat from habitat loss, ivory poaching and human conflict. Chester Zoo are helping to halt their decline by supporting a program in Assam India which aims to foster a future for Asian elephants alongside humans.
Photo Credit: Chester Zoo