Second baby elephant born at Melbourne Zoo

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The first female elephant born via artificial insemination in Australia has given birth to a healthy male.

Staff at Melbourne Zoo on Friday celebrated the safe arrival of first-time mum Mali's calf, the second Asian elephant born this month.

"We are thrilled and relieved that Mali's first birth went so well, and that she is bonding and feeding successfully with her calf under the protective watch of the herd," Melbourne Zoo's Erin Gardiner said.

She said the calf is strong and healthy, and looks larger than the one born to elephant Dokkoon on November 16.

Both newborns will be named in coming weeks via a public competition.

A third calf is due in January.

Elephants are pregnant for an average of 22 months, the longest gestation period of any mammal, and a baby elephant usually weighs about 120kg.

Asian elephants are classified as endangered in the wild by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.

Zoos Victoria is part of a regional breeding program for the large mammals.


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