TAIPING: Little Mas, born on Oct 30, is the latest darling of the Taiping Zoo.
The female calf was the sixth baby elephant successfully bred in captivity, said zoo director Dr Kevin Lazarus.
With Mas on board, the zoo now has nine elephants.
The 17-day-old calf is being suckled by two adopted mothers, Jalong and Bera.
Mas' mother Matang has never given birth before unlike Jalong and Bera.
“Matang appeared to be afraid of Mas for some reason, but Jalong and Bera often helped out in nurturing the calf,” Dr Lazarus said, adding that this was a natural trait of elephants.
In the wild, once an elephant's mother dies, other adult female elephants would go to the aid of the newborn, he said.
Dr Lazarus said the newborn was named Mas to commemorate the golden anniversary of the zoo, which is being celebrated now.
The zoo is planning to renovate the elephant exhibit at a cost of RM1.5mil.
“Once completed, it will be called Elephants of the Perak River .
“We are still waiting for the money from the Government which we had applied for four years ago,” he added.
The other elephants raised at the exhibit are Setia (the only male of the herd), Jaya, Selama, Taiping and Kelian.
Up to Oct 31, some 506,593 people have visited the zoo and its night safari, compared with 464,007 visitors for the corresponding period last year.