Dublin Zoo’s latest arrival — a bull elephant calf born five days ago, will be introduced to his father, Upali for the first time today.
The new Asian elephant, yet to be named, was born to Yasmin at 7.22am last Thursday after a 22-month gestation period.
The calf was born within three minutes. After eight minutes, he taking his first steps. The newborn weighs around 80kg — the average weight of an adult human, and is around 1.2m tall.
Dublin Zoo director, Leo Oosterweghel, said the herd became very restless on Wednesday so they knew something was going to happen. “For a whole hour, there was absolute mayhem. The elephants started milling around and the calf was born within a forest of 16 legs,” he said.
Mr Oosterweghel said the zoo got fantastic video footage of the birth.
Bernhardine, the herd’s matriarch and the oldest member at 30 years, her daughter Asha, 7, and the calf’s 10-year-old sister, Anak, all helped out.
“They would push the calf to get it going and sometimes an elephant would lean on one knee and have a really close look at the newborn with one eye — extraordinary stuff,” said Mr Oosterweghel.
The calf will stay with the herd until he is six or seven and has started puberty.
The Natural Confectionery Company are inviting the public to choose a name for the calf over the coming weeks. Details are at HERE.