Baby elephant born at Artis zoo
A baby Asian elephant was born at Artis zoo in Amsterdam on Monday night. The delivery went very well and it was clear that mother Thong Tai already had experience in giving birth - her newest calf's birth took only one minute, the zoo announced.
The calf was already standing on his four legs 15 minutes after being born, and drinking from his mother a few hours later. He is Thong Tai's fifth calf.
Zookeepers were keeping an eye on the elephants through cameras and rushed to the zoo when they noticed that the elephants were agitated. But by the time they arrived, the calf was already born. "But seeing such a calf on all four leg is of course a wonderful arrival," said Peter Bleesing, elephant keeper at Artis.
Artis now has five Asian elephants in its herd - Thong Tai, two of her daughters, a male, and this newest male calf. The two younger elephant cows were present at the birth and showed a lot of interest in the calf afterwards. "Experiencing births and the raising of young are important and educational for the other cows in an elephant herd. In this way they are prepared for the birth and raising of their own young in the future," the zoo said. The father kept his distance
Asian elephants have a gestation period of 20 to 22 months. This time Thong Tai gave birth after 643 days, two days after the expected due date. During pregnancy, she gained 300 kilograms. A newborn elephant weighs around 100 kilos, the rest is amniotic fluid and placenta.