Wednesday 13 December 2017

A day this elephant will never forget

The newborn is a significant success for Dublin Zoo as part of the international breeding programme established to assist the survival of the Asian elephant Picture: Patrick Bolger
The newborn is a significant success for Dublin Zoo as part of the international breeding programme established to assist the survival of the Asian elephant Picture: Patrick Bolger
Gareth Morgan

Gareth Morgan

Dublin Zoo is celebrating the birth of its fifth elephant calf in the space of three years. Proud mum Bernhardine, affectionately known as Dina, the herd's matriarch, gave birth to the healthy calf on Monday night after a 22-month gestation period.

The calf is estimated to be one metre tall and weighs about 80kg.

The new arrival is Dina's third calf and there have been five elephant calves born at Dublin Zoo in less than three years.

The newborn will join the herd of nine Asian elephants, including father Upali, in the Kaziranga Forest Trail.

"We're delighted with the new arrival and happy to report that both mum and calf are doing great," Gerry Creighton, operations manager at Dublin Zoo, said.

"The calf is feeding exceptionally well and has settled into her surroundings seamlessly.

Maternal

"This is Dina's third calf and so naturally, she has developed excellent maternal instincts over the years.

"We are very proud of the expanding herd and recognise the significance of these births for the future of endangered Asian elephants."

The newborn 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.

Irish Independent

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