Bonding and Balance: Newborn Elephant Takes First Steps with Mom’s

Woburn Safari Park near Milton Keynes, UK, welcomed a healthy female Asian elephant calf to its herd. The calf, born just a week ago, stands at an impressive three feet tall and has already begun taking its first wobbly steps within minutes of entering the world.

This is a significant event, as the calf is one of the few Asian elephants living in Britain. Her arrival brings much joy to the park staff and the Duke of Bedford, who owns the estate where the elephants reside.

The calf, yet to be named, joins her parents, Damini and Raja, both 20 years old, and their extended family of five other elephants. While still young, she already weighs a hefty 19 stone, and estimates suggest she’ll reach a remarkable four tonnes and stand nearly 10 feet tall by adulthood.

The first week has been all about bonding and exploration for the calf. She stays close to her mother, Damini (meaning “electric”), who diligently keeps her safe and nurtured. The elephants spend their days, around 16 hours to be exact, grazing in nearby paddocks stocked with trees and logs.

“Damini has taken to motherhood fantastically,” shared Terry Shelton, head of elephants at the park. “She’s been very calm, getting to know her newborn with gentle touches of her trunk. Her ‘aunts,’ Chandrika and Yu-Zin, have also been observing the calf’s early steps and feeding from Damini.”

The Duke of Bedford, Andrew Russell, expressed his delight: “The birth of this calf is a testament to the hard work and dedication of our elephant and veterinarian staff who cared for Damini throughout her 22-month pregnancy. It’s a fantastic achievement for Woburn Safari Park and contributes to the ongoing conservation efforts for this endangered species.”

The park will soon be hosting a competition to choose a name for the new arrival. Visitors can submit their suggestions until November 7th, with the winning name announced on November 22nd. This heartwarming event serves as a reminder of the importance of conservation efforts and the beauty of witnessing the miracle of life unfold in the animal kingdom.

Leave a Comment