Woburn Safari Park has announced the birth of a baby elephant, born in the last few days, to the park’s 20-year-old Asian elephant, Damini.
After a 22-month pregnancy the long-awaited female calf was welcomed into the world by her mother and father, 20-year-old Raja, who is Woburn’s only bull elephant, along with the rest of the Park’s five-strong herd.
Standing at just 3ft tall and weighing a healthy 122kg, the calf is currently dwarfed by her mother but is expected to grow up to an impressive three metres tall and weigh in at a hefty four tonnes.
Woburn’s elephant team were thrilled to see the calf, which is yet to be named, up and walking within minutes of her arrival. She is expected to spend her first few days bonding with her mother, exploring her new home in the elephant house, as well as meeting the other female elephants within the herd.
Terry Shelton, head of elephants, said: “Damini has taken to motherhood fantastically. She has been very relaxed, getting to know her newborn with gentle trunk touches whilst her new aunts, Chandrika and Yu-Zin, are able to watch the newborn take its first steps and suckle from Damini.”
Andrew Russell, the 15th Duke of Bedford, said: “The birth of our newborn elephant is a tribute to all of the elephant and veterinarian staff who have been working with and looking after Damini during her 22 month pregnancy. It is a fantastic day for Woburn Safari Park and the ongoing conservation of these endangered animals.”