Page last updated at 12:59 GMT, Tuesday, 28 July 2009 13:59 UK

Elephant calf makes public debut


The week-old baby elephant has not yet been named

A female elephant calf born this month has gone on show for the first time at a zoo in Bedfordshire.

She is not yet named and stays close to mother Kaylee at her home at Whipsnade Zoo, but she is already 3ft (1m) tall and weighs 126kg (278lbs).

Two young elephants died this year at the zoo. Leelee, a female calf, and Donaldson, a one-year-old male, contracted the elephant herpes virus.

The zoo has a programme to increase numbers of endangered species.

The new calf's father Emmett is the only male in the herd of elephants at the zoo.

Director David Field said: "The safe birth of the Asian elephant calf is a tribute to the keeping staff at the elephant house.

"They were monitoring mother Kaylee's condition constantly in the days leading up to the delivery.

"The female calf represents another important addition to our herd of these endangered animals."

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