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A baby elephant calf resting beneath its mother.
Photograph: Melbourne Zoo

An adorable baby elephant calf was just born at Melbourne Zoo

It's the third and final baby to join the zoo's growing herd of Asian elephants

Adena Maier
Written by
Adena Maier

In adorable and exciting news, Melbourne Zoo has welcomed its third healthy Asian elephant calf, born late on January 1 to mum Num Oi – and it's a girl! Following a vote via Zoos Victoria's social media pages, she was named Kati (pronounced car-tee) which means coconut milk, an ingredient commonly used in Thai cooking.

Kati's recent birth follows the safe arrival of two other calves, sister Aiyara and brother Roi-Yim, towards the end of 2022.

All three calves were naturally conceived through the same father, sire Luk Chai, who was the first male elephant born in Australia. As the saying goes, it takes a village to raise a child – these simultaneous pregnancies mean that the calves will be raised by the entire herd, offering huge benefits for herd cohesion and social development. 

"We began planning these births years ago, so to see natural biology play out at its best has been a real privilege," says Erin Gardiner, the life science manager of the Melbourne Zoo Trail of Elephants.

Best of all, you can now meet these wee babies, with all three calves ready to make their public debut. Please be aware that they may only be out and about for short periods of time, and that each mum and calf may need some time away from the view of visitors.

For those living close to the city, fair warning: in 2024, the entire Asian elephant herd will be moved from Melbourne Zoo to Werribee Open Range Zoo following the completion of an $88-million-dollar expansion funded by the Victorian government.

After some more wholesome animal news? Collins Street's famous falcon hatchlings have flown the coop.

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