Chester Zoo celebrates birth of rare Asian elephant

A CCTV camera captured the moment the calf was born

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A security camera at Chester Zoo captured remarkable footage of an Asian elephant birth which happened overnight at the facility on Saturday (17 December).

Footage shows the little calf's first moments right after birth.

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The calf is then seen exploring the habitat under the watchful eye of its mother and other fellow Asian elephants.

The calf was born to 12-year-old mother Sundara after a 22-month long gestation period, Chester Zoo said.

Keepers and conservationists are thrilled with this new addition as they regard it as a 'huge boost' to the species breeding programme and the Chester Zoo family herd, the zoo said.

"There's always a lot of excitement among the elephants whenever there's a birth. It's a hugely positive event for the herd - not least for one-year-old Nandita who was experiencing a new arrival for the very first time.

"Having a new play mate around means that Christmas really has come early for her!", said Richard Fraser, Chester Zoo's assistant team manager of elephants.

Asian elephants are listed as endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

Pictures of baby elephants

Pictures of baby elephants