01 25/01/2011

Asian elephant takes centre stage

Chester Zoo has welcomed its second elephant calf in 12 months.

Asian Elephant Thi gave birth to a female calf just before midnight on Saturday.

Thi, 28, is mum to Sithami, 13, who had her own calf, Nayan, in July.

Proud dad of both calves is Upali, 16.

Tim Rowlands, Curator of Mammals, said the zoo was delighted with the news.

Tim said: “The arrival of an elephant calf is always a cause for celebration but two healthy calves in six months is fantastic. The new arrival and mum are doing very well and I am sure our visitors will share in our good news.”

Thi gave birth naturally with the herd around her. The zoo boasts one of the best elephant houses in the UK, built with the elephants in mind. Sand flooring and extra space made giving birth more comfortable for mum. The calf is yet to be named.

Pictures: Peter Byrne/Press Association