Saturday, January 16, 2010

....Female Asian Elephant Born at 1:10am....

The first baby elephant in Melbourne Zoo's 147-year history was born early today to the delight of tired but ecstatic Zoo staff.

After weeks of round the clock monitoring, and enormous anticipation, Asian Elephant Dokkoon became the first elephant in Australia to give birth to a female calf and also to deliver a baby conceived by artificial insemination.

Melbourne Zoo Director Kevin Tanner said that he is extremely proud of the team that has brought about this amazing result.

"From the time the veterinarians conducted the successful artificial insemination, during the outstanding care provided over the 22-month pregnancy, to the historic birth early this morning, our staff have shown tremendous commitment and expertise."

While we are all thrilled with the safe arrival, Mr Tanner said, there has been no time for celebrations.

"The calf was alert and active from birth, and since then the dedicated elephant team have been focussing on allowing mother and baby time to recover from the birth and to establish a bond.

"It is vital that they have time to themselves so we need to ask the community to be patient and understand why Dokkoon and baby are not on display as yet.

"They will remain in the barn for a while until the vets and curators are comfortable that they are ready to go outdoors."