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Baby elephant born at Howletts Wild Animal Park in Bekesbourne near Canterbury

A wild animal park has welcomed an adorable new addition to its herd of elephants with the birth of a male calf.

The newborn, who is currently unnamed, joins the herd of African elephants at Howletts in Bekesbourne near Canterbury and is the 26th birth at the park to date.

The new addition at Howletts
The new addition at Howletts

The infant was born to mother Etana and third calf to be fathered by Coco, the herd's resident bull, since he joined the zoo five years ago.

Animal director Adrian Harland says mother and son are both doing very well.

"The 13-strong herd have all shown interest in the newcomer and he has no shortage of ‘aunties’ desperate to babysit him," he said.

"This is the 26th birth at Howletts which is more than the rest of the UK put together.

"The herd contains three generations of elephants and now includes three babies under 18 months old.

"It is a special time to see these youngsters playing and exploring the spacious paddocks and yards with their mothers and extended family around them."

A baby elephant was born at Howletts
A baby elephant was born at Howletts

Howletts Wild Animal Park is home to the largest herd of elephants in the UK and the latest addition brings the size of the herd to 14.

Visitors will be able to see the newborn as he explores his new home in the elephant sand paddocks, as well as two other elephant calves, Oku who was born in December 2019 and Nusu, born in September 2018.

Howletts is currently open with some restrictions due to advice from the government over the coronavirus outbreak.

Walking with lemurs is closed until further notice and all animal encounters and experiences have been suspended.

Visitors can still see the animals in their enclosures as usual.

All food and drink outlets will remain open, however, seating has been rearranged and there is minimised capacity to ensure that visitors can maintain a suitable distance between them.

All daily talks have been cancelled until further notice.

Read more: All the latest news from Canterbury

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