There is even more good news from Dublin Zoo with the announcement of the arrival of a third Asian Elephant calf! The healthy female calf was born to mother Bernhardine at 11.45 pm on September 17th, weighing in at 68kg (150 lbs).
This is the third elephant calf to be born at Dublin Zoo within a 10 week period. The first calf, Kavi, was born to mother Yasmin on July 17th, followed closely by Ashoka, named after one of India’s greatest emperors, born to mother Anak on August 19th.
Paul O’Donoghue, Assistant Director at Dublin Zoo said, “Our latest arrival is a wonderful addition to our breeding herd of Asian Elephants. It was a very quick and calm birth and Bernhardine’s daughter Asha (7 years old) stayed with her throughout. The calf was standing within ten minutes and has been suckling really well. Bernhardine is the oldest female and the herd’s matriarch. She is an experienced mother, and this is her fourth calf. It is just incredible for us to be announcing the birth of three Asian Elephants in the space of ten weeks. It is an extraordinary achievement for the animal care team here at Dublin Zoo who is very proud of the expanding herd and of the significance of these births for the future of endangered Asian Elephants”.
The Asian Elephant is currently classified as “Endangered” on the IUCN Red List. The pre-eminent threats to Asian Elephants today are loss, degradation and fragmentation of habitat, leading in turn to increasing conflicts between humans and elephants. They are poached for ivory and a variety of other products including meat and leather.
A naming competition will be hosted on Dublin Zoo’s Facebook page, and the Zoo is calling on the public to suggest a name for the latest arrival based on its Asian origins.
More great photos below the fold!