Asian elephant Azizah gave birth to a male calf on September 16th at London's ZSL Whipsnade Zoo. The entire herd of ten elephants witnessed the birth, which took place outside, an unusual occurrence. Normally births take place inside the sheltered area of the enclosure. The zoo was excited about the birth taking place in a natural environment. Assistant Curator of Elephants Lee Sambrook said,
“It was wonderful to be able to witness a herd birth at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo. We have a great track record with the elephant breeding program 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 Asian elephant is native to southeast Asia from India in the west to Borneo in the east. These majestic animals are tragically classified as endangered due to habitat loss and poaching for ivory, meat and leather. It's hard to comprehend that someone would value a profit or a material over such imagnificent, awe-inspiring animals. -Via Zooborns.
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