After a gestation period of 631 days (21 months), it only took a grand total of two minutes for the delivery of Artis Zoo’s new Asian Elephant calf! New mom, Thong Tai, welcomed the quick arrival of her new baby on October 16.
Keepers at Artis Zoo, in Amsterdam, had been carefully monitoring Thong Tai and knew the birth was imminent. In the wild, elephants customarily have a female relative from their herd provide support during the birth. Thong Tai’s oldest daughter, Yindee, was present during the arrival of her latest daughter.
Photographer AJ Haverkamp captured this charming series of photos of the new calf, which has been named Sanuk. Haverkamp has more incredible work that can be seen via his flickr page: https://www.flickr.com/photos/ajhaverkamp/
The Asian or Asiatic Elephant (Elephas maximus) is the only living species of the genus Elephas and is distributed in Southeast Asia from India in the west to Borneo in the east. Three subspecies are recognized: E. m. maximus from Sri Lanka, the E. m. indicus from mainland Asia, and E. m. sumatranus from the island of Sumatra. They are the largest living land animals in Asia.
Since 1986, E. maximus has been listed as “Endangered” by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). The population has declined by at least 50% over the last three generations, estimated to be 60–75 years. The species is primarily threatened by degradation, fragmentation and loss of habitat, and poaching.