News National Herd welcomes calf

Herd welcomes calf

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He’s only two days old but Melbourne Zoo’s boisterous elephant calf is already stomping his way around his enclosure, even trying a bit of rock climbing.

The baby Asian elephant suckled from mother Dukkoon, played with older sister Mali and tried to climb the enclosure’s boulders during the family’s first group outing.

“He is very boisterous already,” Melbourne Zoo elephant keeper Andy Durham said on Tuesday.

“He loves to explore.

“He’s very confident and he’s got a big set of lungs on him.”

The zoo will begin selecting names, based on the calf’s personality, to be translated into Thai.

A public “name the baby’ competition will likely be held, Mr Durham said.

The calf’s birth on Sunday has lifted the spirits of the herd after the death of 11-month-old calf Sanook last Tuesday.

Even grieving mother Num-Oi is helping feed the new arrival, unusual for elephants in captivity.

“When a new calf is born, it’s not uncommon for that calf to feed off a related adult female,” Mr Durham said.

“In captivity, it is a little more unusual because the elephants aren’t related.”

The calf can be seen by zoo visitors from Wednesday.