As for the calves, baby elephants are pretty cute – but this has to be one of the cutest species we’ve ever seen.
The youngster – who has yet to be named – is believed to be the first African elephant born in the UK in 2019 at Howletts Wildlife Park near Canterbury in Kent.
She is the daughter of 11-year-old first-time mother Uzuri, who gave birth to her after three hours of labour.
Staff at the private zoo called it “a great way to start December”.
Adrian Harland, animal director for Howletts Wildlife Park, said: ‘He is enjoying being at home and meeting the herd, who are even more excited than the people here in Howletts.
Howletts is arguably the most successful African elephant breeder in the UK, with 24 born there since the park opened in 1975.
Mother Uzuri – which means beautiful in Swahili – was born in Howletts in 2008. She is the third child to mother Tammi, who was brought to Howletts from Tel Aviv in 1988.
Adrian said: ‘Mother and baby are doing well and are being harassed by the whole herd, especially Uzuri’s mother, Tammi.
“The young child has already begun to explore the elephant yards and lucky visitors who are patient enough to spot him outside.”
Herds of Howletts live on an 8.4-acre property in rural Kentish.
Their enclosure has been carefully designed by professional keepers and is one of the largest enclosures in the UK. This latest addition brings the size of the herd to 13.
The gestation period of the African elephant is about 22 months.
Calves stay close to their mothers and drink three gallons of milk a day for two years but sometimes continue to suckle for longer.
They are often seen sucking their trunks for comfort, just as humans usually suck their thumbs.