Today, our little scamp Haven is a month old. A lot has changed since he was born. Being a baby elephant is very complicated, but also lots of fun! It’s a joy watching him grow up and change daily.
Somboon gave birth to healthy baby boy Haven on Friday 13 December 2019 under the last full moon of the decade. Within the space of a month, he has changed so much. When he was born, his eyes were quite red; that’s due to all of the pressure put on his little body during birth. A baby’s eyesight is quite poor at first, so they recognise their mothers by touch, scent, and sound; he has remained very close to her. Within an hour of him being born, he was on his feet, albeit very wobbly. He is much stronger now.
You’ll have noticed from the very first photographs of Haven, his rather adorable toenails. An elephant’s gestation period is between 19 and 22 months. During this time Haven’s toenails continued to grow; they got so long that they wrapped themselves around the soles of his feet. Now that he is moving around, they have mostly worn away.
Elephants eat a lot. Adults eat around 16 – 18 hours a day and consume 10% of their body weight per day. For a baby to become big and strong, they must drink lots of milk. The team at the Haven ensure that Somboon has ample tasty fodder; she loves bananas, watermelon and pineapple tops the best. Haven will suckle from his mum for up to three years.
Haven doesn’t quite know how to use his trunk yet; he very quickly started to copy his mum by picking up leaves and sticks. He waves his trunk around a lot and tries to grab things from unexpecting tourists. He is very cheeky and amusing. He has found his running legs, his mischievous mock charges, and this week he found his voice; he has been making the team chuckle with all sorts of rumbles and trumpets.
Maew and Somboon’s mahout take them regularly into the park so that they can explore together. We can’t wait to introduce them to the herd.