A new baby elephant at the UK's Chester Zoo has caused a stir of excitement among keepers, visitors and the other elephants alike. The male calf has been named Nayan meaning "eye" in Hindi. Born close to midnight on Sunday, July 18th, the little elephant has been exploring his new home while staying close to his mother, Sithami.
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The name was chosen by both the Zoo’s elephant keepers and the staff from the Assam Haathi Project, the conservation project which mitigates human elephant conflict in North East India. The project is run by Chester Zoo and EcoSystems-India.
Nandita Hazarika, Project Manager of Assam Haathi Project, who was visiting from India at the time of the birth, said:
“We are delighted to be involved in the naming of the Zoo’s new elephant calf. We worked with the elephant keepers to find a Hindi name and think Nayan is a perfect choice. As a charity, Chester Zoo funds various conservation projects abroad so by visiting the new baby elephant, visitors are helping support these projects and in doing so playing a part in conserving various animal species around the world.”
Nayan is the second calf for Sithami, 13, who is also mum to Sundara, six. Proud dad is Upali, 16.