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Published on : Monday, July 4, 2016
Meet the brand new star of Singapore’s Night Safari: a cute baby Asian elephant who is a month-and-half old and was introduced to the zoo on 28th June (Tuesday). She walked into the nocturnal zoo with two of her aunts known as Jamilah and Tun, and also her mother Sri Nandong. For the initial first hour of her visit to this place, the boisterous calf tossed about a rubber ball as she played in the sand.
As the adult elephants kept a vigil on the calf, they gorged on durians, pineapples, watermelons, coconut leaves and carrots. This baby Asian elephant was born on 12th May, three months earlier than it was expected. Chawang, a 39-year-old elephant and 30-year-old Sri Nandong are her parents. This is the first elephant that has been in the park since the last six years. Normally, the gestation period of elephants last for about 24 months, and it is indeed the longest pregnancy among all animals.
This calf is an addition to the two males and three female elephants in the Night Safari. Apart from that, she also joins her brother Sang Wira who is 15 years old. 43-year-old Novendran Suppiah, the deputy had keeper of elephants noted that the young calf is a playful little elephant who loves playing with water every morning.
He added that the calf, who is yet to be named, is also fond of running around and disturbing the “aunties”. Aunties are referred to the females in the herd who protects the juvenile members of the herd.
The little Asian elephant suckles her mother milk about 20 times in a day, and has grown to 210 kg from her birth weight of just 149 kg within two months. Her caregivers have decided to name her only once her personality has developed completely. The name would portray her character.
Cheng Wen-Haur, chief life sciences officer, Wildlife Reserves Singapore has asserted that the birth of this calf would play a significant role in increasing the elephant population, as elephants are known to be slow breeders. He further added that this baby elephant would go ahead and raise awareness about the fate of her endangered species. Human-elephant conflicts as well as habitat loss are threatening the Asian elephants, whose numbers in the wild are estimated around just 40,000 to 50,000.