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Home   Canterbury   News   Article

Aspinall Foundation welcomes baby elephant Mirembe to Howletts Wild Animal Park in Bekesbourne near Canterbury

17 June 2014
by Lowri Stafford

Keepers at a Kent zoo are celebrating the arrival of an adorable baby elephant.

The female calf called Mirembe was born at Howletts Wild Animal Park in Bekesbourne near Canterbury in the early hours of Saturday, June 7, weighing 150kg.

The baby, its mother Tammi and father Jums are all doing well after the birth, which was the first at the park in three years.

Scroll down for video

Baby elephant Mirembe

Baby elephant Mirembe

Foundation chairman Damian Aspinall tweeted pictures of the calf with the message: "Had our 22nd ele birth at Howletts today. Only 33 born in UK total, so very happy." 

The calf brings the herd number at the park to 13 - Howletts cares for the largest herd of African elephants in the country.

They include father-of-18 Jums, 37, who stands at more than 11 feet tall and weighs around 6100kg.

Mirembe was born at Howletts earlier this month

Mirembe was born at Howletts earlier this month

Mirembe with mum Tammi

Mirembe with mum Tammi

The calf is just ten days old

The calf is just ten days old

Head elephant keeper Natalie Boyd said: "We are delighted to welcome our newest member of the herd after a 21-and-a-half month wait, and are especially pleased with the range of natural behaviours shown by our elephants, who were all present.

"Many other females, including all Tammi’s extended family assisted in getting the calf to her feet within minutes and encouraging her to suckle.

The baby was born earlier this month

The baby was born earlier this month

The herd has rallied round to welcome the new arrival

The herd has rallied round to welcome the new arrival

The playful baby Mirembe

The playful baby Mirembe

"This is Tammi’s fifth baby and she is, once again, proving to be an excellent mother, and this time is assisted by Jara, Uzuri and even little four year old Manzi."

Mr Aspinall encouraged his Twitter followers to think of a name before arriving at Mirembe, which means "peace".

Baby elephant Mirembe has lunch

Baby elephant Mirembe has lunch

He tweeted: "Some great ideas coming in for new baby ele. It’s a girl. Let’s think of something African and not a human name. Something with dignity."

Visitors to the park are able to see the baby exploring her new surroundings and bonding with her family in the paddocks or the elephant yard areas.

 

Video: See Mirembe taking her first tentative steps at Howletts

For more information, visit www.aspinallfoundation.org/howletts.

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