Elephants are notorious for their long memories, but now they are famous for their lengthy pregnancies.
Long-suffering Asian elephant Azizah carried her cubs for 700 days – 84 days longer than the average – and finally gave birth at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo, Bedfordshire.
This is believed to be the longest pregnancy ever recorded at a British zoo – closer to two months than the normal gestation period of 22 months.
And the baby weighed just 16 stone (104kg) at birth, making it the smallest baby in Whipshade’s history.
The keepers were so worried about the small size of the newborn – which has yet to be named – that they thought it would not be able to access breast milk.
But Azizah’s third smart calf soon solved the problem by learning to stand on his tip-toes.
Elephant keeper Lee Sambrook said: ‘Azizah brought it in right away, and the rest of the herd were excited to be around the elephant and touch it.
‘Elephants are social animals, and having their young joining the herd is elephant life.’
The calf is now venturing out of the elephant enclosure with the rest.
And visitors are flocking to the zoo to be able to see him play with his siblings and suckling his mother, who won’t forget the hastily extended pregnancy.