Dublin Zoo is inviting the public to suggest a name for its newest arrival – a female Asian elephant calf.
Proud mum, Asha, gave birth to the healthy calf last Monday evening after a 22-month gestation period.
The calf is estimated to be just under one metre tall and weighs approximately 70kg.
Name suggestions can be submitted onthe Dublin Zoo website, and should be based on her Asian origin.
The new arrival is Asha’s first calf and the fourth elephant calf born at Dublin Zoo in two years.
The new arrival will join the herd of eight Asian elephants, including dad Upali, in the Kaziranga Forest Trail, proudly sponsored by The Natural Confectionery Company.
Gerry Creighton, Operations Manager at Dublin Zoo said, “We are delighted with the new arrival and happy to report that both mum and calf are doing very well.
“This is Asha’s first calf and so far she has done a remarkable job.
“Asha has incredible maternal instincts and over the past two years has watched the other females in the herd raise their calves and learned from their behaviour”.
“This is a very special birth for the animal care team and a historic day for Dublin Zoo.
“Mum Asha was the first Asian elephant born in Dublin Zoo back in 2007 and today we are celebrating her first calf.
“A decade ago Dublin Zoo set out to be a centre of excellence in elephant care. We now have three generations of elephants at Dublin Zoo, matriarch Bernhardine, her daughter Asha and now this new arrival”.
“We are very proud of the expanding herd and recognise the significance of these births for the future of endangered Asian elephants”.
The new-born 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 only 30,000 to 60,000 of these animals exist in the wild, with the largest population found in India.
Visitors can see the herd of Asian elephants at the Kaziranga Forest Trail in Dublin Zoo, or keep an eye on the herd on the elephant webcam.