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Baby boy elephant born at Pairi Daiza park

21:00 19/09/2017

Pairi Daiza animal park is celebrating a new addition to the family: a baby elephant born in the early hours of Tuesday morning.

The male is in good health, as is his mother Khaing Hnin Hnin. It is her sixth baby and her first with partner Po Chin.

Staff are relieved, as last summer a baby elephant born with respiratory problems did not survive.

"The first moments after birth are crucial for the survival of the young," said Pairi Daiza vet Tim Bouts. "When a child is born, the other females of the family rush to help the mother and encourage the baby to stand up.

"Khaing Hnin Hnin is an experienced mother and the family has already had several births. Our relief was enormous when after a few minutes, the little one raised, surrounded by his mother, his sisters and his nieces.

"It's not only splendid news for the breeding programme of the species, but also an emotional moment for the whole team here."

Pairi Daiza now has 18 elephants - 15 Asian and three African - which it claims is the largest herd in Europe.