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This baby's a star

The Night Safari's latest baby elephant, seen here with mother Sri Nandong in their enclosure, made her public debut yesterday evening.

The yet-to-be-named calf was born on May 12, nearly three months earlier than expected, marking the wildlife park's first elephant birth in six years.

The new star is already showing her playful personality, said deputy head keeper of Asian elephants Novendran Suppiah, 43.

The young calf suckles her mother up to 20 times a day, and has grown from her birth weight of 149kg to 210kg in less than two months.

Asian elephants are endangered due to threats such as habitat loss and human-elephant conflicts, with only an estimated 40,000 to 50,000 remaining in the wild.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 29, 2016, with the headline 'This baby's a star'. Print Edition | Subscribe