Baby elephant born in England’s Chester Zoo (VIDEO)
The mini female elephant was on her feet just three minutes after she was born on Thursday afternoon.
CCTV technology allowed staff to monitor the calf’s mother Thi Hi Way through labor without disturbing her or the herd.
The incredible footage shows her excited family welcoming the new addition into the group.
Keepers at the zoo say Way delivered the baby elephant, who has not yet been named, “very smoothly” following a 22-month pregnancy.
Andy Mckenzie, who looks after elephants at the zoo, told the Daily Post: “The birth of a new elephant is a real family occasion and, as the labor progresses, all the family unit really come together.”
He said the family all knew that something was going to happen, especially the older elephants who have seen it all before.
When the calf was born onto the soft sand, the family “started to lean down to have a look and a sniff and also gave her a gentle kick to stimulate her,” he said.
“Not long after, she was up and standing on her feet,” he added.
“A lot of elephant behavior is learnt and so it was great to see the younger individuals being around the birth and learning from the older cows in the family, particularly two-year-old Bala Hi Way who has never been around birth before.”
Chester Zoo says it is “really pleased” with how the birth went, adding Way’s new calf is a “great addition” to the Hi Way family.
Curator of mammals Tim Rowlands told the Liverpool Echo its “fantastic” to be able to celebrate another elephant birth at the zoo. “We hope it inspires people to sit up and take notice of the issues these magnificent animals face in the wild,” he said.
Chester Zoo hopes the new calf can help raise awareness of the species, which is listed as endangered by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
The zoo is part of a breeding program organized by the European Association of Zoos and Aquariums (EAZA) which aims to sustain the elephant population in Europe.