Thursday, March 11, 2010

Elephant baby lives: Does African versus Indian come into it?

No complaint, just interested in how the experts got the initial assessment so wrong, it was a 100 kg baby after all! Perhaps a second opinion was in order? Does African versus Asian come into it? African versus European seems to matter for swallows.

HERE is the press release from Taronga Zoo announcing the live birth.

ABC News Online Reports:
Monday March 8: Baby elephant dies at Taronga Zoo
"Taronga Zoo's director Cameron Kerr says the calf was in the wrong position to move down the birth canal, and an ultrasound this morning indicated it had died."

SBS reported "The inverted position made the birth impossible, Dr Thomas Hildebrandt, a renowned expert on elephant births from the Berlin Institute of Zoo and Wildlife Health, told reporters in Sydney on Monday."

Wednesday March 10: Baby Elephant back from the dead
"The zoo's senior veterinarian and world-leading expert on elephant births, Dr Thomas Hildebrandt, said on Monday it would be a "miracle" if the calf was born alive."

Wednesday March 10: Zoo trumpets baby elephants first steps 
A baby elephant has remarkably taken its first steps at Sydney's Taronga Zoo despite being declared dead in his mother's womb on Sunday night.

All these a little less emotional than this one from SMH Elephant mum 'told' herd baby had died:
"But it is certain that when an unborn baby elephant at a Sydney zoo died last Sunday, the rest of its herd instantly knew and fully understood what had happened. Amazingly, the group of six elephants would have heard the baby's heartbeat stop - even though it was still inside its mother, a leading elephant breeding expert says. Dr Thomas Hildebrandt, a renowned authority on elephant births from the Berlin Institute of Zoo and Wildlife Health, says it is likely Taronga's elephant herd listened as the calf's heart failed."

Fingers crossed the experts manage it better this side of the placenta.

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