Live updates

Endangered baby elephant's birth captured on cctv

Credit: Chester Zoo

A rare Asian elephant has been born at Chester Zoo, with the birth captured on CCTV.

The female calf arrived to 12-year-old mum Sundara after a 22-month gestation and was on her feet within minutes.

Richard Fraser, assistant team manager of elephants at Chester Zoo, described the birth as "perfect" and a "great family occasion."

Asian elephants are listed as endangered on the International Union for the Conservation of Nature's red list, threatened by habitat loss, poaching, disease and direct conflict with humans. The new calf is a huge boost to the endangered species breeding programme.

This was Sundara's second pregnancy and the birth was pretty much perfect.

She delivered her calf onto soft sand with all the family gathered around. Sundara then gave her a series of little kicks to gently stimulate and encourage her to her feet. Minutes later, the new arrival was up and standing and making her first attempts to suckle.

– Richard Fraser, assistant team manager of elephants at Chester Zoo

Advertisement

Scheme to help save elephants

There's a new national campaign to help save the elephant from extinction.

The animals are under threat from poachers - with thousands being killed in the wild each year.

It's even feared they could be wiped out within a generation.

The government started it all at Knowsley Safari Park today, where it's hoping children could be the key to saving the elephant.

Our Merseyside corespondent Andy Bonner reports:

Steps you can take to protect elephants

Knowsley Safari Park have released a series of steps that you can take to day-to-day to help protect elephants in the wild.

They include:

  • Don’t buy ivory. If you buy, elephants die.
  • Think before you buy anything that could be made from or contain body parts of endangered species like certain alternative traditional medicines
  • Ask where products come from and if they've been produced sustainably
  • Support wildlife conservation programmes
  • Spread the word - tell your friends and family about elephants and how important it is to help protect them
  • Report any suspicious activity concerning the buying and selling of wildlife products to your local police.

Advertisement

  1. Elaine Willcox

Knowsley supports bid to protect elephants

African elephants at Knowsley Safari Park Credit: Knowsley Safari Park

Knowsley Safari Park are supporting a new drive to save elephants as part of a national endangered species campaign 'If They're Gone.'

The Secretary of State for DEFRA Owen Paterson will help raise awareness of the elephant's plight.

It comes at a time when there's been unprecedented levels of elephant poaching for their ivory

The results of a new survey will also be revealed at the park , showing that many of us are unaware that parts of elephants (and other endangered species) are popular ingredients in traditional alternative medicines.