Elephant

Prague Celebrates First Elephant Conceived and Born at Zoo

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Staff at the Prague Zoo are celebrating the April 5 birth of a male Asian Elephant, the first to be both conceived and born at the zoo.

Other Elephants have been born at the zoo, but they were conceived at other zoos, and the females were subsequently moved to Prague.  Elephants are pregnant for an average of 640 days.

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Foto_1_L1010502_export – kopiePhoto Credit:  Miroslav Bobek/Prague Zoo

This was the first baby for female Janita and male Tamara.  Keepers monitored Janita closely in the weeks leading up to her due date.  Levels of progesterone were measured frequently – these levels drop to nearly zero when the birth is imminent. 

Keepers were present during the birth and monitored this first-time mom closely.  Though the birth went smoothly, Janita became aggressive toward her calf immediately after the birth.  The zoo’s veterinarians say that this is not unusual in inexperienced Elephant moms and may be attributed to the pain associated with giving birth. To keep the calf safe, keepers pulled him aside while Janita quieted down. 

The baby was then gradually brought closer to his mother, and her behavior changed.  About four hours after the birth, the baby nursed from Janita.

Keepers report that both Janita and her baby are progressing well.  Asian Elephants are listed as Endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature, due to loss and fragmentation of habitat.  Elephants require huge home ranges to survive, so there are frequent conflicts with humans as their ranges shrink.  Elephants are also hunted illegally for their ivory tusks, which are present only in male Asian Elephants, though females may have small tusks present inside the mouth.


Introducing Edgar the Elephant From Tierpark Berlin

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Tierpark Berlin’s smallest pachyderm was born on New Year’s Day to mom, Kewa. He has become a popular resident, and with the help of the public, the little bull calf was recently given a name. More than 4,000 proposals were made, and the new calf’s name is---Edgar!

Edgar is one of seven Asian Elephants at Tierpark Berlin and spends his days under the care and supervision of his 32-year-old mother and older sisters. Ankhor (also 32-years-old) is the father of the little elephant, and has lived at the Prague Zoo since August 2014.

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3_12747357_10153865928925149_8896928712326566046_oPhoto Credits: Tierpark Berlin

The Asian or Asiatic Elephant (Elephas maximus) is the only living species of the genus Elephas and is distributed in Southeast Asia from India in the west to Borneo in the east. Three subspecies are recognized: E. m. maximus from Sri Lanka, the E. m. indicus from mainland Asia, and E. m. sumatranus from the island of Sumatra. Asian Elephants are the largest living land animals in Asia.

Since 1986, the Asian Elephant has been listed as “Endangered” on the IUCN Red List. The population has declined by at least 50% over the last three generations, estimated to be 60–75 years. Asian Elephants are primarily threatened by degradation, fragmentation and loss of habitat, and poaching.

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Herd Trumpets Baby Elephant's Arrival

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A baby Asian Elephant arrived to the sound of a trumpeting herd on June 16 at Planckendael in Belgium.

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Baby-olifant-qiyo-planckendael-jonas-verhulst5Photo Credit:  Jonas Verhulst

 

Mom Phyo Phyo delivered her female calf, named Qiyo, surrounded by her five female herdmates and offspring in a special sand-floored stable in the zoo’s Elephant barn.  This scenario mimics the way Elephants deliver their calves in the wild.

In the video below, you can hear loud trumpeting as the calf falls to the ground amid the birth fluids. Her arrival causes quite a stir as the other Elephants reach out to touch the newborn with their trunks.

Phyo Phyo had a normal 22-month-long pregnancy, and her experience rearing four other calves is a huge advantage for the new baby.  Within just 15 minutes, Qiyo stood on her shaky legs, and just a half hour later, she was nursing.  Zoo keepers estimate Qiyo’s birth weight at about 190 pounds.

Phyo Phyo is an excellent mother and protects Qiyo from the zoo’s two playful and curious juvenile Elephants, Kai-Mook and May Tagu. By having the other female Elephants present at the birth, their chances of successfully caring for their own future babies is greatly increased.

Qiyo’s father, Chang, was not present for the birth, which is just as it would be in nature.  Chang is a gentle Elephant and the zoo staff expects to introduce him to Qiyo very soon.

Asian Elephants are listed as Endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.  They survive in small fragments of forest scattered across southeast Asia.  

See more photos and video of the baby Elephant below.

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Baby Elephant Is Third Generation At Rosamond Gifford Zoo

DSC_0041_CassieGuerraWhat kind of baby weighs 281 pounds and stands three feet tall at birth?  The newest member of Rosamond Gifford Zoo’s Asian Elephant herd!

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DSC_0018_JaimeAlvarezPhoto Credits:  Jaime Alvarez (3,7,8,9); Cassie Guerra (1,2,4,5,6)

Eighteen-year-old Mali gave birth to the male calf on Tuesday, May 12.  The calf’s father is 17-year-old Doc.  The calf hasn’t been named yet.

The calf represents the third generation of his family to live at the zoo.  His grandmother Targa gave birth to Mali in 1997.  This calf is Mali’s second offspring.  Another female is expecting a baby later this summer, which will bring to total number of Elephants in the herd to eight.

Asian Elephants are highly social animals, so the calves will thrive in the herd with their mother, grandmother, and “aunties” to look after them. 

The calf’s birth was recommended by the Association of Zoos & Aquariums' Species Survival Plan (SSP) for Asian Elephants to maintain a high level of genetic diversity in the North American population of this endangered species.  Only about 35,000 of these magnificent beasts remain in the wild. 

See more photos of the Elephant calf below.

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This Guy Knows How to Make an Entrance

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ZSL Whipsnade Zoo’s new Asian Elephant made a grand entrance into the world and arrived just a few days ahead of the zoo’s ‘Elephantastic Weekend’. 

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ZSL Whipsnade_BabyElephant_3Photo Credits: Natasha Jefferies (1); Jenny Soppet Smith (2); ZSL Whipsnade Zoo (3,4,5,6,7)

The brand new male calf was born September 16th to fourth-time mother, Azizah, in one of the zoo’s large grassy paddocks. Other members of the herd of ten Asian Elephants were nearby, showing their support for Azizah as her labor progressed, including the new calf’s siblings. Under the elephant breeding program, nine elephants have been born at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo.

Assistant Curator of Elephants, Lee Sambrook said, “It was wonderful to be able to witness a herd birth at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo. We have a great track record with the elephant breeding program here, but seeing a baby born with all his aunties and uncles around in such a natural environment was an incredible privilege. Elephants are such social animals and you could see that the rest of the herd’s presence was just what Azizah needed to stay calm and do what she needed to do. The team of vets and keepers were standing by and monitoring her development, but it was so fantastic that the birth happened naturally, and with the herd’s help, rather than ours."

ZSL Whipsnade Zoo’s ‘Elephantastic Weekend’ was held September 20th and 21st.  It was planned to coincide with the world-wide Elephant Appreciation Day, and helps to raise money for elephant conservation and research projects, through fun family activities, fascinating talks, and unforgettable elephant encounters.

The Asian Elephant is native to Southeast Asia from India in the west to Borneo in the east. They are currently classified as “Endangered” on the IUCN Red List.  In the wild, the pre-eminent threats to Asian Elephants are: loss, degradation and fragmentation of habitat, and poaching for ivory, meat and leather.

More amazing photos below the fold!

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Third Elephant Calf Born at Dublin Zoo

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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).

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DublinZoo_Elephant_4Photo Credits: Patrick Bolger

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!

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The Whole Herd Welcomes Whipsnade's Elephant Calf

2-Azizah-and-babyZSL Whipsnade Zoo is celebrating the arrival of a male Asian Elephant. The little heavyweight was born on September 16 to four-time mother Azizah in one of the zoo’s large grassy paddocks.8-baby-under-legs-2

3-portrait-Azizah-and-babyPhoto Credit: Dan John
Other members of the herd of ten Asian Elephants were nearby, showing their support for Azizah as her labor progressed. This calf is the ninth Elephant to be born at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo.

Assistant Curator of Elephants Lee Sambrook said, “It was wonderful to be able to witness a herd birth at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo. We have a great track record with the Elephant breeding program here, but seeing a baby born with all his aunties and uncles around in such a natural environment was an incredible privilege.

“Elephants are such social animals and you could see that the rest of the herd’s presence was just what Azizah needed to stay calm and do what she needed to do. The team of vets and keepers were standing by and monitoring her development, but it was so fantastic that the birth happened naturally, and with the herd’s help, rather than ours.”

The new calf is already a visitor favorite and is mingling with other young male calves in the herd.  

Asian Elephants are native to Southeast Asia, where they are Endangered due to habitat loss and habitat degradation.  Elephants are illegally hunted for their ivory tusks, which are carved and sold as trinkets in Thailand, Myanmar, and other Asian markets.  A growing middle class and increased tourism in the region has fueled the demand for ivory.

 

 


Girl Power at Reid Park Zoo

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Reid Park Zoo, in Tucson, Arizona, had a special birth announcement last week. The zoo’s first baby African Elephant was born August 20th

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Semba's calf_RPZ_9Photo Credits: Reid Park Zoo

 

The female calf was delivered at 10:55pm on August 20, 2014 to mother, Semba, and father, Mabu. Although tiny in comparison to her parents, the yet-to-be-named calf weighed in at 245 pounds.

The new African Elephant calf is a first for Reid Park Zoo, but mother, Semba, has two older sons who were born at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park. Seven-year-old, Punga, and three-year-old, Sundzu, arrived at Reid Park with the rest of their herd in 2012. 

Mother, Semba, had been preparing for the birth of the new calf by gradually pushing away her youngest son, Sundzu, to feed on his own and encouraging his independent play.  As the matriarch in the zoo’s exhibit, Semba has also continued to strengthen bonds with the rest of the herd through play and interaction. Her positive involvement with the herd has ensured support from Lungile, the other mature female, and strengthens the support system she will need for her new baby.

African Elephants are currently classified as “Vulnerable” on the IUCN Red List.  This is a step-up from almost 20 years ago, when the species was still considered endangered. The support provided by accredited zoos and wildlife refuges, and the conservation measures involving habitat management and law protection, have helped provide for the future survival of the African Elephant.

**Special thanks to ZooBorns reader, Liz Davis, for providing links and info about the new baby!

See more photos of the new baby below the fold.

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It's Pool Time for Lily the Baby Elephant!

10382337_10152170705216109_2175553080066726608_oLily, a one-and-a-half-year-old Asian Elephant, enjoyed some splash time with the entire herd this week at the Oregon Zoo.

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10460907_10152170708686109_3506961265514086908_oPhoto Credit:  Shervin Hess

The Oregon Zoo’s Elephant herd includes Lily, her mother Rose-Tu, her father Tusko, brother Samudra, adult males Rama and Packy, and adult females Chendra and Sung-Surin.

Elephants regularly enter lakes and rivers to drink, bathe, and play.  Elephants are also good swimmers!  They paddle with their legs and use their trunks as snorkels.  Elephants are rarely far from fresh water, and drink up to 50 gallons of water a day.

Asian Elephants are listed as Endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.  Once ranging across Southeast Asia, their habitat is now fragmented due to extensive development for agriculture and a growing human population.