Big baby

The Night Safari's largest baby of the year now has a name. Neha, which means love in Hindi, has been chosen as the name of the park's five-month-old Asian elephant, Wildlife Reserves Singapore said yesterday. Neha, born on May 12, is the youngest of
PHOTO: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE

The Night Safari's largest baby of the year now has a name. Neha, which means love in Hindi, has been chosen as the name of the park's five-month-old Asian elephant, Wildlife Reserves Singapore said yesterday. Neha, born on May 12, is the youngest of six Asian elephants - two males and four females - which call Night Safari home.

The baby elephant, which loves to take mudbaths in its enclosure, has recently been trying solid food such as bananas. It has been steadily gaining about a couple of kilogrammes a day - which is normal for an elephant - and now weighs 352kg, more than double its weight at birth. Its keepers described it as "an exceedingly playful and carefree elephant".

There are only an estimated 40,000 to 50,000 of the endangered Asian elephants left in the wild today. Threats include habitat loss and human-elephant conflicts. For example, the native homes of Asian elephants are often logged and cleared for urban and agricultural development.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 07, 2016, with the headline 'Big baby'. Print Edition | Subscribe