A BABY elephant has been born at Chester Zoo, just eight weeks after the birth of another calf, its own nephew.
It is not known yet whether the new arrival is male or female but the new calf was on its feet within three minutes of being born to mum Sithami at 11pm on Monday.
The 15-year-old mother delivered the herds latest offspring after a 22-month gestation. Sithami is also mum to female Sundara, born in 2004, and male calf Nayan born in 2010.Related content
Sundara herself had her first baby on November 25 last year. A spokesperson for the zoo said Sithami has been getting to know the calf, gently touching the young animal with her trunk and keeping a watchful eye on it.
Curator of mammals Tim Rowlands said : The arrival of an elephant calf is always a cause for celebration but to have two healthy calves in less than three months is absolutely fantastic. The new baby and mum are doing very well and I am sure our visitors will share in our good news.
The natural bonding between mum and calf and calf with the rest of the herd is fascinating and a truly wonderful thing to see.
And we just hope that when people come and set eyes on them, they're inspired to try and do something to help stop the persecution that these magnificent animals face in the wild.
The zoo now has 10 Asian elephants: six females, three males and the new arrival.
Chester Zoo is part of a breeding program coordinated by the European Association of Zoos and Aquariums (EAZA) that is focused on sustaining the elephant population in Europe.
Visit the Chronicle website www.chesterchronicle.co.uk to see our video of the new elephant at Chester Zoo.