Record-Breaking 2-Year Elephant Pregnancy Culminates in Joy at British Zoo

It’s not just long memories that elephants are famous for, but also their extended pregnancies. This trait was notably exhibited by Azizah, an Asian elephant, who set a new record for the longest elephant pregnancy in British zoological history.

Azizah, a resident of ZSL Whipsnade Zoo in Bedfordshire, carried her baby for an astonishing 700 days, 84 days more than the average elephant gestation period.

Mother Azizah And The Newest Addition To The Zoo'S Asian Elephant Herd - A Baby Elephant Born After The Longest Pregnancy Recorded At Whipsnade
Mother Azizah and the newest addition to the zoo’s Asian elephant herd – a baby elephant born after the longest pregnancy recorded at Whipsnade.

Her calf was finally born last Tuesday, marking the conclusion of a pregnancy that lasted nearly two additional months beyond the typical 22-month cycle.

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Surprisingly, Azizah’s baby weighed in at a mere 16 stone (104 kg), making him the smallest newborn in the history of Whipsnade Zoo.

You Took Your Time! It Took Azizah 700 To Give Birth To Her Third Baby
You took your time! It took Azizah 700 to give birth to her third baby.

Zookeepers initially feared the calf’s small stature might prevent him from reaching Azizah’s milk. However, the little elephant quickly adapted, learning to stand on his tip-toes to nurse.

Lee Sambrook, an elephant keeper at the zoo, shared his observations of the newborn and his immediate acceptance by the herd. “Azizah bonded with her baby immediately,” said Sambrook.

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“Elephants are naturally social creatures, and introducing new calves to the herd is a fundamental part of their communal life.”

Big Hello: The Tiny Calf, Which Is Yet To Be Named, Was Born Last Tuesday And Weighed Just 16 Stone - The Smallest Recorded At The Zoo

The newest member of the Whipsnade herd is now exploring life outside the elephant barn alongside his family.

Meanwhile, zoo visitors are turning out in droves to witness the adorable sight of the small elephant playing with his siblings and nursing Azizah, who likely won’t forget her remarkable pregnancy anytime soon.

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You Took Your Time! It Took Azizah 700 To Give Birth To Her Third Baby
Big hello: The tiny calf, which is yet to be named, was born last Tuesday and weighed just 16 stone – the smallest recorded at the zoo.
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