At Amersfoort Animal Park this morning, elephant Kina gave birth to a small calf. “The elephant was born around 10:00 am. Special, because elephants are usually born at night,” says zookeeper Rob Saris. Mother Kina and her calf are doing well.
"The calf has already been nursing and Kina is keeping a close eye on her young," says the zookeeper. "It is Kina's second baby, so she now knows very well what motherhood means." It is still unclear whether the calf is a female or a male: “We can only see the sex when the calf has urinated for the first time,” Rob explains.
Amersfoort Zoo is currently temporarily closed due to the current Covid-19 measures and the newborn calf cannot be admired in the park yet. “Everyone can watch the calf's first steps via the live webcams”, says Rob. When the park opens its doors again, the elephant will occasionally be seen in a safe 1.5 meter opening. Visitors will enter the courtyard in small groups and accompanied by a guide. In addition, if the weather permits, the baby will explore the outdoor enclosure together with the herd every day. “As a visitor you will therefore have to be lucky to be able to spot the little one,” explains the animal caretaker.
Joy and sorrow are close together in the park these days. The escape and loss of two chimpanzees had a major impact on the animal handlers and other employees. “The grief is great, but this elephant birth is a ray of hope for all involved in this difficult time,” says Rob.