Monday 22 July 2019

Newborn elephant takes wobbly first steps at zoo

The Indian elephant calf joins the largest herd in a European zoo at Pairi Daiza in Belgium.

(Pairi Daiza)
(Pairi Daiza)

By Alistair Mason, Press Association

This striking footage shows a newborn Indian elephant’s first tentative steps.

The female calf was born at Pairi Daiza, a zoo in Brugette in Belgium, at the weekend.

😍 Rhooolala, mais qui voilà ? ❤️❤️❤️ Farina a donné naissance tôt ce matin à une merveilleuse petite éléphante. Toutes...

Posted by Pairi Daiza on Saturday, June 8, 2019

Footage shows the youngster tentatively getting to her feet and attempting a few wobbly first steps, aided by her doting mother, Farina.

“She’s very, very strong,” said Rob Conachie, the zoo’s head of elephants. “She was up on her feet extremely quickly.”

The baby has been born into the largest elephant herd in a European zoo – she swells the ranks at Pairi Daiza to 22, of which 20 are Asian and two African.

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(Pairi Daiza)

She is the second baby elephant born at the zoo so far this year and is already out and about with the rest of the herd.

“This is another step forward in protecting an endangered species,” said Mr Conachie.

“There are only 38,000 of these fantastic elephants left in the wild today so every one that we breed, especially females, are critically important.”

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(Pairi Daiza)

Pairi Daiza is helping with research to find cures for deadly diseases affecting populations, including elephant herpes.

Indian elephants are a subspecies of Asian elephants and have been listed as endangered since 1986.

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