Dublin Zoo is celebrating the arrival of a new Asian elephant. The calf, which is yet to be named, was born to mother Yasmin at 7.22am on Thursday, 17th July after a 22 month gestation period. The healthy bull is an estimated 1.2metres tall and weighs approx. 80kg – equivalent to the weight of an adult human.
The new arrival will join the rest of the herd – Bernhardine, Anak, Asha, mum Yasmin and dad Upali, in the Kaziranga Forest Trail at Dublin Zoo, which will now be sponsored by The Natural Confectionery Company.
Paul O’Donoghue, assistant director at Dublin Zoo said, “We are absolutely thrilled with the new arrival. The calf was born within three minutes and after eight minutes he was up and taking his first steps, watched closely by his mum Yasmin and the rest of the females in the herd.
“Yasmin is an experienced mother and is bonding well with the calf, which is very strong and suckling well. He has been given a warm welcome by the rest of the herd who are being very protective.
“This male is a significant birth because he will play an important role in the conservation of Asian elephants”, Paul added.
The newborn is Yasmin’s third calf and a significant success for Dublin Zoo as part of the international breeding programme established to assist the survival of the Asian elephant. It is estimated that only 30,000 to 60,000 of these animals exist in the wild, with the largest population found in India*.
In a double celebration Dublin Zoo also welcomed The Natural Confectionery Company on board as sponsors of the Asian elephant habitat – the Kaziranga Forest Trail. The partnership between Dublin Zoo and The Natural Confectionery Company is a great fit for both parties and will help contribute to the upkeep of the Kaziranga Forest Trail and conservation programmes in the wild.
Leo Oosterweghel, Director at Dublin Zoo commented, “This is a really exciting time for everyone at Dublin Zoo and we are thrilled to welcome a new bull elephant calf and the Natural Confectionery Company to the Kaziranga Forest Trail.
“This partnership is a major boost for Dublin Zoo and the sponsorship revenue will help with caring for this breeding herd of Asian elephants.”
Karl Tyndall, Brand Manager for The Natural Confectionery Company commented, “Here at TNCC, we value the importance of fuelling imagination through learning and play for all the family, so we are very excited to come on board as the sponsor of the Kaziranga Forest Trail. We are also proud that this support can make a positive impact on the lives of these wonderful elephants.
“To celebrate the partnership, Dublin Zoo and the Natural Confectionary Company will be inviting the public over the coming weeks to help name the new baby bull elephant inspired by his Indian origin. The competition will be run through the TNCC Facebook page and entries will be accepted by family members 18 years of age and older. Then, one lucky family will get to officially name the new arrival at an event in Dublin Zoo and will win some other brilliant prizes!”
Visitors can see Upali, Bernhardine, Yasmin and her new calf, Anak and Asha at the Kaziranga Forest Trail daily. You can also keep an eye on the herd on the elephant webcam at www.dublinzoo.ie. The Zoo will also be keeping the public updated on Yasmin and her calf with daily #DublinElephants updates on the Dublin Zoo Facebook www.facebook.com/dublinzoo and Twitter @DublinZoo Details of the TNCC naming competition can be found on www.facebook.com/
The keeper talk ‘Elephant Encounters’ happens at 12.30pm every day so this is a good time to visit the Kaziranga Forest Trail to learn more about Asian elephants.
Dublin Zoo, a not for profit organisation, is open seven days a week from 9.30am to 6pm.