Page last updated at 19:50 GMT, Friday, 7 August 2009 20:50 UK

Inseminated elephant gives birth

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The first elephant to conceive via artificial insemination at Twycross Zoo has given birth.

Noorjahan, who lives at the Leicestershire Zoo, was inseminated from a bull elephant based at Whipsnade Wildlife park in Bedfordshire.

The procedure was done artificially as moving elephants between zoos for mating can be bad for herd dynamics.

The male elephant calf, who has not been named yet, is about one metre tall (3.28ft) and weighs 100kg (220lb).

The baby elephant, who was born on Thursday morning, will be named by a public competition in about a week's time.

Noorjahan arrived at the zoo from West Bengal in 1998 when she was two-and-a-half years old.

At the time, two other Twycross elephants were pregnant and her main role was helping the "expecting" mothers to become familiar with smaller elephants.



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