Max, a three-week-old baby Asian elephant, has captured hearts as he playfully explores his surroundings at Whipsnade Zoo in Dunstable, Bedfordshire.
Born on October 12 to his mother Karishma, Max is still learning to master his little legs, which recently led to a heartwarming scene when he tripped and fell face-first into the mud.
Thankfully, his attentive mother quickly came to Max’s aid, helping her clumsy calf get back on his feet before he continued his playful antics. Max has been spending his first weeks of life interacting with the herd and running around the seven-acre paddock, keeping the zookeepers entertained.
Watch the video at the end.
According to zookeeper Stefan Groeneveld, Max has shown significant progress in three weeks and already displays an independent streak. He enjoys leaving his mother’s side to play with the rest of the herd in the paddock.
Karishma, a doting mother, and the other elephants are delighted to have Max around. Groeneveld highlights that elephants are highly social animals and that having youngsters join the herd is a crucial part of elephant life.
Max shares the seven-acre paddock at Whipsnade Zoo with nine other elephants, including his three-year-old brother George and half-siblings Donna, aged four, and Scott, aged two.
Groeneveld shares that the herd adores Max and wants to see him as soon as he is born. Initially, Max’s younger brother Scott was cautious but has now started playfully bullying Max, a positive sign of their growing bond.
The energetic baby elephant has been described as a “handful” by the zookeepers, as he never seems to run out of energy. Max’s presence at the zoo is vital for the European Endangered Species Programme for Asian elephants.
With only an estimated 35,000 remaining in the wild and a 50% decline in population over the past three generations, these magnificent animals face severe threats from habitat loss, degradation, and fragmentation.
Watch the video below:
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