Baby elephant born in Planckendael


The animal park near Mechelen has welcomed Qiyo, the fifth baby for mother Phyo Phyo, who is doing well and standing on her own feet

Special viewing today

Animal park Planckendael near Mechelen has announced the birth of Qiyo, the fifth baby for Phyo Phyo and a little sister for the country’s most famous elephant, Kai Mook, who is now six.

Tradition has it that animals born at the park or at Antwerp Zoo, with which Plankendael is associated, are given names beginning with sequential letters of the alphabet. The last Baby Q, born in April, never had the chance to be named: Unable to stand, he was rejected by his mother and later died from complications related to jaundice.

Qiyo, by contrast, is already standing on her own four feet, according to the first photograph issued by the park. Only by standing upright can a baby elephant suckle properly and obtain mother’s milk, which contains crucial elements for survival and growth.

The public will be able to see baby Qiyo from tomorrow, with a priority viewing today for anyone with a zoo season ticket.

Photo © Planckendael / Jonas Verhulst


Together with Antwerp Zoo, Planckendael is one of Flanders’ two major animal parks. Located in Mechelen, the park was originally established as a refuge for tired and injured animals from the Antwerp Zoo.
History - In 1956, the Royal Society of Animals of Antwerp (KMDA) bought the Planckendael estate, which was built in 1780. The animal park opened four years later.
Expansion - As part of a new €5-million master plan, Planckendael recently introduced a new theme continent (America), updated several animal complexes and grounds and is welcoming entirely new species starting this year.
Sustainable - Every year since 2011, the park has been awarded the Green Key international eco-label for its sustainability efforts. It is one of only nine attractions in Flanders to carry the label.

surface area in hectares

810 000

annual visitors in 2012


Flemish government KMDA subsidy for 2012-2016 period in millions of euros