By Kim O'Leary
Dublin Zoo is celebrating the birth of an Asian elephant calf this week as the new baby joins the growing herd at the zoo.
Proud mum, Anak, gave birth to the healthy male calf on Saturday (10th February) after a 22-month gestation period. The calf is estimated to weigh approx. 90kg.
The new arrival is Anak’s second calf and the seventh elephant calf born at Dublin Zoo in less than four years. The newborn will join the herd of Asian elephants, including father Upali.
Gerry Creighton, Operations Manager at Dublin Zoo said: “We are delighted to welcome our new arrival to Dublin Zoo and happy to report the calf is healthy, strong and was standing within minutes of his birth. It is fascinating to watch the younger females interact with the calf, as they are working together to protect him. Witnessing the sights and sounds of an elephant birth, is important to inexperienced females in the herd as it prepares them for motherhood.”
The newborn is a significant success for Dublin Zoo as part of the international breeding programme established to assist the survival of the Asian elephant. It is estimated that the Asian elephant population has declined by over 50% in the last 70 years. Dublin Zoo also provides ongoing support to the research of Asian elephants in the Kaziranga National Park, India.
To see the new arrival, visit the Kaziranga Forest Trail in Dublin Zoo. Dublin Zoo, a not-for-profit organisation, is open seven days a week from 9.30am to 5pm in February and 9.30am to 6pm from March - September.
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