Baby elephant birth

Whipsnade Zoo baby elephant

Special delivery! A baby elephant has been born in a British zoo.

Today (SEPT 18) Whipsnade Zoo announced the arrival of a newborn elephant, which was born on Tuesday. The male was born to fourth-time mother Azizah in one of the zoo’s paddocks.

Other members of the herd of ten Asian elephants watched on throughout the birth, showing their support for the expectant mother.

Assistant curator of elephants Lee Sambrook said: “It was wonderful to be able to witness a birth at the zoo.

“We have a great track record with the elephant breeding programme 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 baby elephant was born at 7.10pm on Tuesday.

Other curious elephants in the herd have taking on babysitting duties, protecting the newborn as he explores his surroundings.

Mr Sambrook said: “The new-born is already a herd favourite and visitors can see him out and about with his big brothers and sisters in the paddock.”

The newborn elephant is yet to be named.

Under the elephant breeding programme, nine elephants have been born at Whipsnade Zoo.

More high resolution pictures and video are available on request. To discuss rates for using pictures and copy, contact news editor Tom Knight on 07815 004413 or tom@medavia.co.uk.

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