At London’s Whipsnade Zoo, you may be able to hear the not-so-tiny thump of young elephant feet.
Keepers report that the mother and newborn Asian elephant calf are doing well after being born last month.
The caretakers have determined that the calf is a female, but no name has yet been given to her.
At Whipsnade Zoo, where she was born, she was surrounded by other female herd members, including her grandmother Kaylee.
Elephants’ deputy team leader Mark Howes from Whipsnade Zoo said: “To say we’re delighted by the arrival of this calf is just a huge understatement – it’s a massive success for Donna, for the herd at Whipsnade Zoo, and for elephant conservation full stop.”
“This little infant is a really important addition to the European-wide endangered species breeding program for Asian elephants.”
According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), Asian elephants are considered endangered.
In the wild, they are threatened by poachers, conflicts with other humans, and dangers to their ecosystems.
“We’re one of the few conservation organizations working around the world to protect all three species of elephants – Asian elephants, African elephants, and African forest elephants,” said Howes.
“Our herd plays an active role in our conservation work, from helping us to develop new technologies to educating our visitors – every visit to see our elephants really is an act of support for their conservation.”
“We were able to watch the birth via our hidden cameras, and it was amazing to see grandmother Kaylee step in to … move the rest of the herd out of the way to allow the little one to stand up for the first time.”
“She’ll grow up being nurtured and learning from her mum Donna and grandmother Kaylee, as well as her ‘aunts’ and ‘cousins’ in the herd – and we’re so excited to see her personality develop as she grows.”