Meet the new­est mem­ber of the zoo’s heavy gang

Irish Daily Mail - - News - michelle.o’ke­effe@dai­ly­mail.ie By Michelle O’Ke­effe

SOUND the trum­pets! An­other new baby ele­phant has been born at Dublin Zoo.

Weigh­ing in at a healthy 90kg, the un­named male Asian ele­phant calf ar­rived on Satur­day to the de­light of his proud mother Anak.

The calf is Anak’s sec­ond off­spring and the sev­enth to be born at the zoo in the past four years. He has set­tled in quickly with the rest of the herd, which in­cludes fa­ther Upali, be­com­ing is the cen­tre of at­ten­tion.

Gerry Creighton, zoo op­er­a­tions man­ager, 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 birth is a sig­nif­i­cant suc­cess for the zoo which is part of an in­ter­na­tional breed­ing pro­gramme es­tab­lished to en­sure the Asian ele­phant’s sur­vival.

It is es­ti­mated their num­bers have more than halved in the last 70 years. But Dublin Zoo pro­vides on­go­ing sup­port to the re­search of the ele­phants in the Kazi­ranga Na­tional Park, In­dia.

Anak’s calf – whose home is the zoo’s pop­u­lar Kazi­ranga For­est Trail – is not the only one young ele­phant with no name: the zoo is invit­ing the pub­lic to come up with a name of African ori­gin for a male rhi­noc­eros born in Novem­ber, with a fam­ily zoo pass up for grabs.

7 Asian ele­phants born at Dublin Zoo in four years

AT 90 kilo­grams, he is some baby, but the lat­est ad­di­tion to Dublin Zoo is an adorable ele­phant born last Satur­day to proud mum Anak and dad Upali.

The new ar­rival was un­veiled yes­ter­day and has yet to be named. The zoo is one of our most pop­u­lar at­trac­tions and any new ad­di­tion to its ar­ray of ex­otic res­i­dents is al­ways wel­come.

Trunk call: The as yet un­named male calf born at the week­end is set­tling in and en­joy­ing be­ing the cen­tre of at­ten­tion

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