In the early hours of the 4th October, our very own little baby elephant was born to Mom Shan and Dad Chova. Despite what many think, it's not easy to see whether an elephant is pregnant or not. Not even our vet had been categorically sure! The initial prognosis was that if she indeed was pregnant, then baby would be born in December.
So our surprise and delight was great when little Zambezi made an appearance almost three months earlier than potentially planned! He was born with black fluffy hair, hazel coloured eyes, 90cm tall and with a foot circumference of 45cm. He is of course the cutest baby elephant ever born!
The birth of a small elephant is like the birth of a human baby. There is plenty of joy and many funny moments, but there is also worry for mom's health, new group dynamics, new routines, and a needy baby. The first couple of days with Zambezi have been unsettling for Shan (of course) who has seemed nervous and a little bad tempered. Nuanedi, on the other hand is besotted by the new addition and doesn't leave his side, she's taken the little one under her wing and has happily taken over a secondary mother role. Chova is pretty much not interested at this stage (like first time dads, he probably has no idea what to do with the bundle of joy!) and Mussina and Chishuru are taking the new arrival in their stride.
When we saw that Mom Shan was feeling grumpy, we made the decision to close the interaction centre until the herd has settled. The welfare of our elephants is always top on our agenda. We'll let you know how things progress over the next few weeks. You can get more info and photos on our Facebook page. We're very proud that one of our elephants has been able to carry and give birth to a healthy male baby. With so many elephants being lost in Africa every day, it's great to see that our herd is growing carefully and with pride.