In a groundbreaking event, a male African elephant calf entered the world, marking a remarkable achievement at the West Midlands Safari Park. Born last week, the week-old calf tipped the scales at 221 pounds upon his 5:30 PM arrival on Monday.
The proud mother, Five, embarked on a 22-month pregnancy journey leading to this momentous occasion. What sets this birth apart is that it resulted from artificial insemination utilizing stored frozen semen sourced from an elephant in a South African reserve.
The innovative technique responsible for this birth was pioneered by experts from Berlin’s Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research in close collaboration with the West Midlands Safari Park.
Notably, this newborn male calf is the second elephant in the world to have been born using this cutting-edge approach. The first success story emerged last year at Vienna Zoo, where a female calf was born under similar circumstances.
Andy Plumb, the head elephant keeper who has cared for Five since her arrival at the West Midlands Safari Park in 1998, expressed his joy: “This is fantastic news, the baby is absolutely perfect – just like his mother – and both are fine.
Five has been well throughout her pregnancy, and it has only been during the last few weeks before the birth that she has seemed to be a bit more ‘clingy’ than usual towards the staff. The birth was uncomplicate, and Five clearly adores her new baby.”
The journey of Five, now 22 years old, is one of resilience and care. She came to the West Midlands Safari Park when she was just six years old, orphaned due to a tragic incident.
Raised in a private elephant orphanage near Pretoria, South Africa, she eventually found a home at the park in Bewdley, Worcestershire.
This extraordinary birth showcases not only the wonders of nature but also the strides that science and collaboration can achieve in safeguarding endangered species.
The West Midlands Safari Park and its partners are basking in the success of this groundbreaking event, celebrating the arrival of a healthy and thriving baby elephant.
Read more Elephant News.