Christmas came early for Uzuri, a first-time elephant mother, at Howletts Wild Animal Park in Canterbury, UK. This holiday season, she has gifted us with the delightful arrival of a baby elephant.
The heartwarming surprise was discovered by keepers, who the newborn greeted on a bright Monday morning. The calf, yet to be named, is the offspring of Uzuri and Coco, the park’s resident bull elephant.
The elephant’s dedicated keeper Natalie Boyd said they had been watching the expectant mother through CCTV.
Uzuri’s labor began at 3 am, and by 6 am, the little one had made its grand entrance. Both mother and calf are thriving under the loving attention of the herd, including Uzuri’s mother, Tammi.
The park’s animal director, Adrian Harland, could barely contain his joy: “This is a perfect start to December.
The entire team is overjoyed to welcome the newest member of our herd. He’s already comfortable with his surroundings, engaging with the excited herd.”
With a typical gestation period of around 22 months, the birth of an African elephant is always a special event.
These calves remain inseparable from their mothers for their first two years, consuming an impressive three gallons of milk daily.
Howletts boast the largest African elephant herd in the UK, with this newest addition increasing their count to 13. This little one marks the 24th elephant birth since the park opened in 1975.
Standing tall at 11ft and weighing over 6 tons, the African elephant is vulnerable on the IUCN Red List of Endangered Species. An adult elephant’s diet can include over 150kg of food and 135 liters of water daily.
In their natural habitats, these elephants form familial herds led by the eldest female. Upon reaching puberty, the bulls depart to establish ‘bachelor’ groups.
Apart from elephants, Howletts play an instrumental role in conserving and breeding other endangered species, such as black rhinos, western lowland gorillas, and clouded leopards.
Read more Elephant News.