He’s heavy and he’s leggy, he is the new elephant calf at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo

EllieHe’s heavy and he’s leggy, he’s the new elephant calf at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo – kicking off the spring season at the Bedfordshire zoo.

The lanky youngster, just four days old, is amusing his keepers by squeezing under new mum Karishma to reach his milk, but he is already showing a determined streak.

The pint-sized pachyderm, still to be named, was born just after midnight on Monday 12th April. One of the tallest babies at Whipsnade, the youngster is more than 3ft tall and weighs a healthy 124kg (almost 20 stone). Adult elephants can weigh over 800st.

First-time mother Karishma, age 12, wowed her keepers with her calmness at the overnight birth, which they watched on monitors from a safe distance away.

Deputy team leader Andy Durham, who has known Karishma since she was a baby, said: “She surprised us all and was excellent from the word ‘go’. When the calf first came out she just seemed amazed to have her own baby. She’s fantastic with it.”

The youngster has spent her early days getting to know the other elephants in the herd, including half sister Donna who is nine-months-old, while enjoying the Spring sunshine in the seven-acre elephant paddock.