This week a new baby elephant was born at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo. The baby is an exciting addition ahead of the zoo’s elephantastic weekend. Elephantastic is the zoo’s way of celebrating the elephant appreciation weekend a world-wide event supporting elephant conservation and research.
For the calf’s mum Azizah this is here fourth baby. She was born in one of the large grassy paddocks at the zoo on Tuesday 16th September at 7.10am. Other elephants from the zoo’s ten strong herd were nearby providing support as she progressed in her labour.
Whipsnade Zoo manages a successful elephant breeding program which has seen 9 elephants born.
Keepers were on hand to witness the birth with Lee Sambrook the Assistant Elephant Curator saying, “It was wonderful to be able to witness a herd birth at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo. We have a great track record with the elephant breeding programme here, but seeing a baby born with all his aunties and uncles around in such a natural environment was an incredible privilege.”
“Elephants are such social animals and you could see that the rest of the herd’s presence was just what Azizah needed to stay calm and do what she needed to do. The team of vets and keepers were standing by and monitoring her development, but it was so fantastic that the birth happened naturally, and with the herd’s help, rather than ours,” added Sambrook.
The young elephant is already a favourite said Sambrook, “The new-born is already a herd favourite and visitors can see him out and about with his big brothers and sisters in the paddock. Hopefully his brilliant timing will encourage lots of people to come along to Elephantastic this weekend and support his relatives in the wild.”
Photo Credit: ZSL Whipsnade Zoo