Third elephant baby has arrived at Planckendael
The third – and final – baby elephant to be born at Planckendael animal park in Mechelen over the last few months has arrived
Planckendael said the delivery went smoothly, without any complications. This is Phyo Phyo's sixth baby. She is also the mother of Planckendael elephants Kai-Mook, May Tagu and two-year-old Qiyo.
As is the ritual with Asian elephants, all the elephants in the herd – now 10 strong – gathered around the calf immediately, sniffing him. Within 15 minutes, he was on his feet, and the other two baby elephants curiously investigated their new uncle with their trunks.
Coincidentally, the new baby (pictured, far right) was born on 11 April, May Tagu’s birthday. May Tagu and Kai-Mook have also both given birth recently, the former last December and the latter in January.
While those babies – girls Tun Kai and Suki – can be seen by the public, the new baby boy will only make short appearances during the day, weather permitting, until he is a bit bigger. A name has not yet been chosen for the new calf.
Multiple births celebrated worldwide
The father of all three babies is Chang. The bull is now in Copenhagen as a part of a breeding programme to help keep Asian elephants off the endangered species list. Meanwhile, the animal park recently welcomed Kanvar, expected to act as father to future generations of Asian elephants at Planckendael.
The multiple births have been celebrated by zoos and animal parks across the world as the Asian elephant population has decreased by some 50% over the last century. Only 40,000 to 50,000 still roam across India, China, Thailand and other neighbouring countries.
Planckendael is part of the Brahmagiri-Tirunelli Elephant Corridor. The project sees wildlife agents protecting elephants that travel through southern India, an area becoming ever more inhabited by people.
surface area in hectares
annual visitors in 2012
Flemish government KMDA subsidy for 2012-2016 period in millions of euros