First photo of the newborn elephant via Facebook / Zoo Praha, Roman Vodička

Asian elephant born in Prague zoo, another birth expected soon

A young Asian elephant was born to female Tamara in Prague zoo in the small hours today, its sex as yet unknown

Prague, March 27 (CTK) – A young Asian elephant was born to female Tamara in Prague zoo in the small hours today, its sex being unknown for now, zoo director Miroslav Bobek has tweeted, adding that another elephant birth is expected soon as female Janita is also pregnant.

The father of both offspring is Ankhor.

“Many thanks to my colleagues from the Elephant Valley! In view of the situation [caused by the coronavirus epidemic] and the necessity to work in two separate teams, this must have been much more difficult for them than ever before. We will be awaiting the delivery of the other pregnant female, Janita, now,” Bobek wrote.

The zoo, like many other attractions and facilities, has been closed over the epidemic since March 13. Bobek said the zoo is doing its utmost for the possible quarantine of the zoo staff not to endanger the care for the most vulnerable species such as elephants. That is why the attendants have been divided into two teams that strictly avoid contacts with one other.

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Both Janita and Tamara gave birth to offspring in 2016 already, when their sons, Maxmilian and Rudolf, were the first elephant calves conceived and born in Prague.

Rudi’s father is Ankhor, while Maximilian’s father is Mekong, who returned from Prague to Amsterdam in December 2014.

Maxmilian, and Rudolf, six months his junior, will soon turn four, and each of them weighs more than one tonne now.

The first elephant born in the Prague zoo’s almost 90-year history was Sita, a female born in February 2013. Her mother, Donna, was pregnant when arriving in Prague from Rotterdam in 2012.

The Prague zoo has kept elephants since 1933. There are seven of them now, the oldest being Gulab, a female the zoo acquired in 1966. Apart from Janita, Tamara, Max, Rudi and Ankhor, there is also Shanti, a female.

In 2013, the zoo opened the new Elephants’ Valley enclosure worth 500 million crowns, the biggest complex ever opened by a Czech or Slovak zoo, including a pool.

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Situated in Prague-Troja, the zoo opened to the public on September 28, 1931. It saw the record number of 1,456,526 visitors last year.

The zoo keeps over 670 animal species and is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Prague.

Amid the coronavirus epidemic, people can watch animals on short videos from animal enclosures and pavilions.

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