Mother elephant gives her newborn calf a helping leg just days after she was born

She squatted between her mother’s legs on an estate in rural Bedfordshire, just a week-old and three-foot-tall elephant.

After 22 months of waiting in the womb, the baby elephant begins to walk within minutes of being born.

The calf is the latest resident to join the Woburn Safari Park near Milton Keynes and is one of the few Asian elephants to live in Britain.

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Leg up: The newborn elephant, which is yet to be named, is helped to its feet by its protective mother

Her parents, Damini, 20, and father Raja, 20, live on Duke Bedford’s property, along with a herd of five elephants.

At 19, she was heavier than most adults but was expected to weigh 4 tons and nearly 10 feet tall by the time she reached full adulthood.

The unnamed calf spent the first week of his life bonding with his mother and exploring his new home.

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Steady now: The furry calf is up on its feet and walking just days after being born

She rarely strays away from her mother’s side. At the same time, Damini, meaning electricity, carefully walks around the infant, always keeping her close.

Elephants that live in the park’s two lawns spend about 16 hours a day grazing on nearby trees and logs.

The Asian elephant is native to Southeast Asia, Sri Lanka, and Indonesia. It is believed that there are between 35,000 and 40,000 Asian elephants remaining in the world.

“Damini has been a wonderful mother,” said Terry Shelton, head of the herd of elephants at the park.

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Tiring work: The baby lies down in the grass for a nap after a tough day up on its feet

“She was very comfortable, getting to know the baby with gentle touches on the trunk. While her new aunts, Chandrika and Yu-Zin, watched the baby take its first steps First and milk from Damini.”

The 15th Duke of Bedford, Andrew Russell, said: ‘The birth of our newborn baby elephant is a tribute to all the elephant staff and veterinarians. They have taken care of Damini during 22 months of pregnancy.

“It’s been a great day for Woburn Safari Park and the ongoing conservation of these endangered animals.”

Woburn will hold a contest where visitors can choose a name for the calf. The deadline for accepting articles is November 7, with the names to be announced on November 22.

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