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Copyright Stefan Groeneveld1

The Zoological Society of London welcomed Max the Asian Elephant calf on October 12 at the Whipsnade Zoo in the United Kingdom.

Measuring three feet (1m) tall and weighing 283 pounds (129 kg), Max was born to second-time mother Karishma and was on his feet within minutes of his birth. 

Max and mum Karishma
Copyright Stefan Groeneveld2
Scott and Max
Photo Credits:  Stefan Groeneveld (1,3,5,6,7); Whipsnade Zoo (2,4,8,9,10)

Keeper Stefan Groeneveld said: “Max is already showing an independent streak. He’ll happily leave his mum’s side to go and play in the paddock with the rest of the herd.  Elephants are very social animals and having youngsters joining the herd is what Elephant life is all about.”

Max shares Whipsnade’s seven acre paddock with nine other Elephants – including brother George, aged three, and half siblings Donna, four, and Scott, two – and is an important addition to the European Endangered Species Programme (EEP) for Asian Elephants.

See more photos and learn more about Elephants below the fold.

Copyright Stefan Groeneveld3
Copyright Stefan Groeneveld4
Copyright Stefan Groeneveld5
Max in sand paddock

Classified as Endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature, the population of Asian Elephants is estimated to be just 30,000 to 35,000 in the wild. Their numbers have declined by at least 50 percent over the last three generations due to habitat loss, degradation and fragmentation.

Asian Elephants live in the mountains and forests of Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Indonesia, China, Cambodia, Lao PDR, Burma, Thailand and Vietnam.  They feed on vegetation, fruit, twigs, small branches, bark and roots.