Sydney: A baby elephant thought to have died
in the womb made its first public appearance at Sydney`s
Taronga Zoo today, amid predictions it will make a full
recovery from its arduous birth.
The male calf, nicknamed Mr Shuffles by zoo staff,
wobbled out from a barn into the elephant enclosure with its
mother, Porntip, four days after amazing keepers with its
"He`s looking around and seeing the world," zoo elephant
manager Gary Miller said of the 116 kilogram animal`s short
foray before the public.
"He`s just excited to be alive."
Miller said the indications were the elephant would have
no permanent problems despite being stuck in a position in the
womb which experts considered would result in death to both
mother and calf in the wild.
"Because of his compromised position as he came out and
was born, we didn`t know if he had brain damage from lack of
oxygen from such a prolonged birth," he told reporters. "I`d
say he`s going to be 100 per cent."
The baby elephant arrived on Wednesday morning, two days
after zoo officials said they believed it had died in the
They later said the animal may have fallen into the coma
during the marathon nine-day labour which meant its heartbeat
was not detected.