149kg baby arrives a fortnight before award-winning park’s birthday;
First elephant calf in 6 years was born in the exhibit
SINGAPORE, 31 May 2016 – Night Safari received a gigantic early birthday surprise this year, in the form of a 149kg female baby Asian elephant on 12 May 2016. The big bundle of joy arrived 14 days ahead of the award-winning park’s 22nd anniversary, which falls on 26 May 2016.
Sri Nandong, Night Safari’s 30-year-old female Asian elephant, surprised her animal carers when she gave birth to the bouncy calf in the elephant exhibit during operation hours. Keepers had been aware that she was pregnant but did not expect the baby to arrive so soon. An elephant’s gestation period usually lasts between 22-24 months, making it the longest pregnancy in the animal kingdom.
The latest addition to the herd is the park’s first elephant birth in six years. The calf has gained 43kg since birth, and now weighs a hefty 192kg. The gentle yet inquisitive calf was sired by 39-year-old Chawang, the Asian bull elephant at Night Safari. With this birth, Night Safari is now home to four female and two male elephants.
Visitors can witness the close bond between mother and baby at the Asian elephant exhibit from late June onwards. For now, the as yet unnamed calf enjoys her time getting to know her elephant ‘aunties’ Jamilah and Tun, frolicking in her little play pool and going for short walks to get used to her surrounds.
Image 3: Night Safari’s 30 year old female elephant Sri Nandong, introduces her calf to napier grass. The calf, which was born on 12 May 2016, still relies mainly on her mother’s milk, but is starting to use her trunk to explore solid food. Visitors wanting to see the calf will need to be patient as she will only be out in the exhibit from late June onwards. PHOTO CREDIT: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE