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Hilvarenbeek, November 6, 2023 - In peace and under the watchful eyes of the other ladies in the group, African elephant Pina-Nessi has given birth to her first calf after a gestation period of 22 months. The young animal was born on Saturday morning, November 4. It is a female. Mother and daughter are doing well.

Mosi -Pina-Nessi-en-Punda

Head animal caretaker Yvonne Vogels is overjoyed with this birth. "For 25 years, we have worked very hard to make a fruitful contribution to the European management program for this magnificent species. It hasn't been without its challenges over the years, so as a team, we are over the moon that it went well!"

Earlier this year, it was joyfully announced that three African elephants in Beekse Bergen were pregnant. Pina-Nessi's sister Bongi is expecting a calf in early 2024. The calf of Punda, also the mother of Pina-Nessi and Bongi, is expected not long after.



The calf has been named Mosi, which means 'firstborn.' Vogels: "The delivery could not have gone better; it was exactly how we had hoped. Not only the calf and Pina-Nessi are doing great, but the other elephants in the group are also behaving exemplary. Now, we will work hard to ensure that the little one grows up as well as possible, and the other two calves are born as smoothly as little Mosi."


In the wild, the African elephant faces many threats. The world's largest land animals are killed for their precious ivory. There are also human-wildlife conflicts: elephant herds damage farmers' crops, with all the consequences that follow.


Beekse Bergen contributes in two ways to the protection of the African elephant through the European management program and with the support of the Wildlife Foundation.

The management program ensures the creation of a healthy reserve population of this species. Elephant bull Yambo came to Hilvarenbeek from Spain in 2021 for the management program, and with success. Vogels: "Pina-Nessi was very impressed with the Spanish Casanova, and soon the first mating took place."

More space

Through the Wildlife Foundation, the nature conservation organization Save the Elephants is supported with the 'Northern Corridors Project.' Vogels: "The Elephant Valley in the Safari Park is built so that it can accommodate the herd in the future. And while the calves will be safe in the Elephant Valley in the future, we also want to contribute to the safety of African elephants in Kenya! In the wild, the situation is slowly improving for the African elephant, but as the population of Africa grows and the elephants' habitat becomes fragmented, the elephants unfortunately still face threats."

The project will connect nature parks with a corridor. Half of this amount is raised through an adoption plan for the young elephants. The Wildlife Foundation will supplement the rest of this amount with other initiatives.

22-month gestation

The gestation of an elephant lasts an average of 22 months. "Since the end of the summer vacation, we have checked Pina-Nessi's blood more frequently," Vogels explains. "Because sometimes the gestation can be shorter or longer. Based on the blood values, we could see if the arrival of the calf was approaching."

In Beekse Bergen, an elephant has been born once before. Exactly 7.5 years ago, mother Punda gave birth to daughter Madiba in May 2016, just a year after arriving at the Safari Park. Madiba's birth was special: she is the first African elephant born in the Benelux.

To allow mother and daughter to recover in peace, they will be limitedly visible in the coming days. From Thursday onwards, the public can visit the stable.

Note for the editorial team, not for publication

The press is cordially invited to come by. Due to the tranquility for the mother and the calf, we work with time slots. Please contact Iris de Wit at 06-83487870 to arrange a time.

Images with credit to Beekse Bergen/Mariska Vermij - van Dijk.