I visited Chester Zoo in England early in the New Year, just in time to see a couple of their new arrivals. I have to admit to having mixed emotions about zoos, but Chester is one of the good ones, involved in tons of important conservation work around the World, not least of which is the captive breeding of endangered animals.
On a chilly February morning, we were among the early hardy visitors through the gates. Almost immediately we were greeted by our first new arrival of the day, seven-week-old Indian Elephant, Indali Hi Way.
It was an absolute pleasure to watch Indali going for a walk with her mum, Sundara Hi Way, playing with her one-year-old half-sister, Nandita, and learning to feed with the other elephants of the Hi Way herd.
Just two weeks before our visit, Chester welcomed a second baby Indian Elephant into the World. The newest arrival’s name is Nayan, but he was still too small to be out and about with his cousin Indali when we were there.
We arrived at the giraffe house to find most of the herd outside, taking an early morning stroll around their enclosure.
But the big draw was inside, in the form of tiny Murchison, the newest member of Chester’s herd of Rothschild’s giraffes. Born just five weeks before, on Boxing Day, Murchison had only ventured outside for his first walk two weeks earlier.
On the morning I met him, he was taking it easy indoors. But he was a joy, nonetheless!
Unless threatened, both giraffes and elephants are by nature calm animals. And you can’t help but be calmed yourself, watching them gently go about their daily lives. Especially when they’re only a few weeks old.
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