Melbourne Zoo has had a sweet baby: on Wednesday night (local time), elephant cow Dokkoon gave birth to a healthy calf after a 22-month pregnancy. What is special: It is the first mini pachyderm that was conceived naturally within the herd of Asian elephants, as reported by the Australian newspaper "The Age", citing the zoo. Father Luk Chai is actually from the Taronga Western Plains Zoo in the city of Dubbo and was brought to Melbourne in 2020.
"It is a great pleasure to welcome this beautiful elephant calf into our herd and to witness his first interactions with his mother and other members of the herd," said a spokeswoman for the zoo. "We give mother and calf the time and space they need to develop their relationship with each other and with the herd."
The little elephant will only get a name in the next few weeks. The cute trunk animal should then be presented to the public "when the mom and the baby are ready". The zoo is expecting more offspring in the coming months: the elephant cows Num Oi and Mali are also pregnant. In 2024, the whole herd will be relocated to the Werribee Open Range Zoo, south-west of Melbourne, where a 21-hectare site awaits them.