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Munich Zoo - Elephant Baby

One thing that always drives traffic to a blog... baby animals!

On May 6, the Munich Zoo welcomed a new Asian elephant boy -- 117 kilograms and almost a meter tall at birth!  (No name has been given on the zoo web site yet.) Frau A and I went to see if we could "meet" him.  Even though the Elephant House is closed for renovation, we got lucky:  the weather was nice enough so they let mom "Temi" and son outside for a little while.

Here he is:


The time outside was a mixture of fun and training (training for Temi only, of course).  At the start, Temi marched out carrying a tire (with ease), and the new baby at her side.  She stopped for a pose and we grabbed a photo.


The keepers had a watermelon on the ground for them.  Temi stepped on it right away to open it, but baby was more interested in playing with a pink towel.  They eat the watermelon rind too, by the way.


Sometimes his trunk did not have the full dexterity needed to pick up the towel, so he used his foot to help.  So cute.  He'd thrash the towel around a bit with his trunk, then get bored and turn back to mom.


Temi really liked in the watermelon and chowed down.  (BTW:  notice the towel in the keeper's pocket for playtime, and the stick for training.  Also, he would tell onlookers what is happening with the wireless microphone, but only while interacting with other adult elephants, NOT mom and baby.)

Since Temi did the work to open the melon, baby could grab a snack too.
From a nice safe place underneath mom, of course.


Here's another gratuitous close-up of the baby.  Really adorable, afro & all.


After the snack, the trainer worked with Temi for a few minutes on training and tricks.   Here she is practicing with the keeper's hat, taking it off and putting it back on again.  The trunk is amazing - strong enough to throw a tire around but nimble enough to manage this.


In this shot, the keeper used his training stick to ask Temi to sit.  She then rolled onto her side close to baby and startled him - he shrieked for a second.  Then everything was back to normal.


Yup, this guy is really cute, but Temi is beautiful too.  There are some of the animals that you wish you could get in there and interact with... Frau A would take 'em both home if she could.


We'll head back later this summer to see how baby and Temi are doing...

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