WUPPERTAL, Germany – A baby elephant that was born only days ago at a zoo in Germany is bonding with its mother and already getting on well with the rest of the herd, Wuppertal Zoo said on Wednesday.
The days-old male pachyderm, which was born on Saturday, April 20, to African elephants Sabie and Tusker, has been given the name “Gus.”
“On a rare occasion during the zoo’s opening hours, an elephant calf was born amid the herd after a brief period of labor,” the zoo said in a statement.
Gus is the eleventh elephant calf to have been born at the animal park located in the west of the country.
His mother Sabie had previously given birth to four other offspring.
The youngster weighs 104 kilograms (230 pounds) and is 90 centimeters (three feet) tall.
According to the zoo, the calf is already spending time with the rest of the herd in the elephants’ enclosure, where he is getting on well with his family.
“The mother-child bond as well as its social integration with the herd is very successful,” the zoo said in a statement.
On Wednesday, Gus was given his first bath by one of the animal keepers, as documented by an epa-efe photojournalist.
The elephant, native to areas of Africa and Asia, is the world’s largest living land animal.
African bush elephants can weigh up to 8,000 kg and reach a height of 3-4 meters (10-13 feet), while African forest elephants tend to be smaller.
Asian elephants are smaller again and can weigh up to 5,500 kg. There are three subspecies of Asian elephant: Indian, Sumatran and Sri Lankan.
African elephants have larger ears than their Asian counterparts. Both male and female African elephants have tusks, while in the Asian elephant it is usually only the males.
The 24-hectare (59-acre) Wuppertal Zoo was established in 1879 and has gradually expanded over the years.
It now houses about 5,000 animals from all over the world, including monkeys, polar bears, penguins and big cats.