Its A Girl! Female elephant born in Rotterdam

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The Asian elephant that was born on Saturday in the Rotterdam zoo ‘Diergaarde Blijdorp’, is a female. It is the second Asian elephant born in the Netherlands this year. In July, a male was  born in Emmen Zoo.

Blijdorp coördinates the European Breeding program for the Asian elephant. "That's a kind of marriage database," explains director Marc Damen. The coordinator of the breeding program  determines which young born animals have to move where. The elephant who was born on Saturday will stay in Rotterdam. This is possible because it is a female. If it had been a male, he had to move after 5 years. One male per herd is the maximum.

In Blijdorp is still room for expansion of the elephant herd. So Trong Nhi, the mother, can keep her baby girl. “In fact, we hope that another female in the herd is pregnant soon. We know she has almost reached the fertility stage,” says Damen.

As part of the breeding program, Blijdorp is doing a lot of research on the Asian elephant, for example about nutrition and diseases. “The knowledge we share with other zoos. For instance we found out that a male elephant knows by smell of the manure if a female is ready to mate.”

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