It’s a boy! Joy as adorable baby Asian elephant is born at Taronga Western Plains Zoo – and takes his first steps barely 24 hours after his birth

An adorable baby Asian elephant has been born at Taronga Western Plains Zoo.
The male calf was born yesterday afternoon and is already up and about on his feet and doing well.
The newborn, who is yet to be named, was seen tentatively taking some of his first steps around his paddock.

New Dumbo at Dubbo! An adorable baby Asian elephant has been born at Taronga Western Plains Zoo in New South Wales
New Dumbo at Dubbo! An adorable baby Asian elephant has been born at Taronga Western Plains Zoo in New South Wales
Adorable! The male calf was born yesterday afternoon and is already up and about on his feet and doing well
Adorable! The male calf was born yesterday afternoon and is already up and about on his feet and doing well
So cute: The newborn, who is yet to be named, was seen tentatively taking some of his first steps around his paddock
So cute: The newborn, who is yet to be named, was seen tentatively taking some of his first steps around his paddock
'Thong Dee is doing a magnificent job and the successful birth is a tribute to the hard work of our keepers and veterinary staff,' zoo director Matthew Fuller said
‘Thong Dee is doing a magnificent job and the successful birth is a tribute to the hard work of our keepers and veterinary staff,’ zoo director Matthew Fuller said
The baby boy looked to be a little shy at first, staying close to his mother’s side.
But before long he was letting out the occasional roar as he wandered around his new home.
The calf’s mother, Thong Dee, is also doing well after the birth, which is the first to take place at the zoo.
‘Thong Dee is doing a magnificent job and the successful birth is a tribute to the hard work of our keepers and veterinary staff,’ zoo director Matthew Fuller said.
‘It’s a milestone achievement in the almost 40 year history of our zoo and we couldn’t be happier.
‘Every birth is important as it helps to secure a future for this endangered species.’
The baby boy looked to be a little shy at first, staying close to his mother's side, but before long he was letting out the occasional roar as he wandered around his new home
The baby boy looked to be a little shy at first, staying close to his mother’s side, but before long he was letting out the occasional roar as he wandered around his new home
Mother and son: The calf's mother, Thong Dee, is also doing well after the birth, which is the first to take place at the zoo
Mother and son: The calf's mother, Thong Dee, is also doing well after the birth, which is the first to take place at the zoo
Mother and son: The calf’s mother, Thong Dee, is also doing well after the birth, which is the first to take place at the zoo
New South Wales Environment Minister Mark Speakman said the birth was 'tremendous news' and said vets were happy with the calf's progress
New South Wales Environment Minister Mark Speakman said the birth was ‘tremendous news’ and said vets were happy with the calf’s progress
New arrival: The mother and calf will be given time to bond before they appear together for the public
New arrival: The mother and calf will be given time to bond before they appear together for the public
Name that elephant: Taronga Zoo is expected to launch a competition to choose a name for the calf
Name that elephant: Taronga Zoo is expected to launch a competition to choose a name for the calf

Elephant survivor Glenn Sullivan added: ‘Everything went very smoothly with the birthing process.
‘Thong Dee and the calf are in good health and spending time together in the elephant barn. We have seen the calf suckling and we’re really pleased with the maternal behaviours we’re observing’.
New South Wales Environment Minister Mark Speakman said the birth was ‘tremendous news’ and said vets were happy with the calf’s progress.
The calf’s father, Gung, mated with Thong Dee in Sydney, before she moved to the zoo in Dubbo.

The mother and calf will be given time to bond before they appear together for the public.
Taronga Zoo is expected to launch a competition to choose a name for the calf.
Asian elephants are classified as endangered and, at the current rate of decline,  could be extinct in the wild within 20 years. There have a population of between 410,000 and 650,000 worldwide.

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