Meet Max: the 285 lbs baby

A 285 lbs baby Asian elephant (Elephas maximus), that is.

Max and his mom. Photo courtesy of Stefan Groeneveld / ZSL Whipsnade Zoo.

Max was on his feet in just a few minutes and entertaining his keepers and elephant family with his independent and playful nature.

Max is now three weeks old and zookeeper Stefan Groeneveld said: “[He] has come on so much in just three weeks and is already showing an independent streak. He’ll happily leave his mum’s side to go and play in the paddock with the rest of the herd.”

Asian elephants are listed as Endangered on the IUCN Red List, and scientists estimate there are just 30,000 to 35,000 of these giants left in the wild, with major threats including habitat loss, forest degradation and fragmentation, and human-elephant conflict. ZSL and the Elephant Conservation Network (ECN) have been working in collaboration with the Salakpra Wildlife Sanctuary in Thailand for years to address conflict, protecting swaths of forest and helping locals develop sustainable practices that allow the forest to remain intact.

Max enjoying his new home. Photo courtesy of Stefan Groeneveld / ZSL Whipsnade Zoo.

Author: mongabay

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