In late July, ZooParc de Beauval welcomed France's first ever African Elephant to be born using artificial insemination. The baby is the only African Elephant to be born in 2012 in Europe. After a 23 month gestation period and only about an hour of labor, mother N'Dala gave birth to a 340-pound 3-foot-tall bundle of joy. As N'Dala had never given birth before, keepers watched with bated breath to see in she would accept her offspring and nurse him. It is not uncommon for a first time mother to reject her baby in the wild, and keepers gave N'Dala plenty of space in the hopes that her natural instincts would kick in.
Named after a South African Volcano, baby Rungwe recently went on exhibit at the ZooParc by his mother's side. Keepers are delighted about the successful birth and N'Dala has been an exemplary mother so far. The successful artificial insemination gives new hope to this iconic species that has had relatively few births in Zoological institutions. Look beneath the fold to see images of Rungwe and N'Dala exploring their exhibit.