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Ireland's First Ever Elephant Birth Takes Place!

On Wednesday, May 9th, Dublin Zoo announced the very special birth of a baby, Asian elephant. The birth occurred at 02:39 on May 7th, and it was a completely natural birth.

Zoo keepers had suspected that Bernhardine would give birth on the May 7th, as they had been monitoring her closely on CCTV cameras and she had appeared very restless.

At 02:30, a large swelling had appeared indicating the calf had moved into the birth canal. At 02:39, the baby calf emerged. Two minutes after the birth, the baby calf could be seen moving about and eight minutes after the birth, the baby elephant stood upright. At 02:49, the baby elephant took its first steps, much to the delight of the Zoo Keepers.

Leo Oosterweghel, Director of Dublin Zoo, said "This is the first ever elephant to be born in the Republic of Ireland. It was a completely natural birth, without any complications. The birth took place in complete darkness and through our infra red cameras, we could see Yasmin offering her support to Bernhardine and taking great interest in the calf, during the very quick labour. We are all so delighted with the birth of our healthy baby elephant and there is a real buzz of excitement in the Zoo as a result of the birth".

Visitors to the Zoo will be able to see this new baby elephant and the other elephants, Bernhardine, Yasmin and Anak in four weeks time, when the purpose built habitat, The Kaziranga Forest Trail, is unveiled. The elephant’s new habitat is a world class facility, unlike anything experienced before in Dublin Zoo and has been totally created with the elephants’ wellbeing in mind.

For more information about Dublin Zoo, visit http://www.dublinzoo.ie

© RTÉ 2011
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