Everyone at GVI is proud to announce that Mana gave birth to a beautiful baby boy around 3pm Saturday, January 28th. After months of waiting for the baby to arrive we are all very excited to welcome a 6th elephant to our herd.
Since Sunday volunteers have been monitoring Mana and her baby nearly around the clock and recording both quantitative social behaviours and qualitative observations. Everyone has been working very hard and we are all a bit sleep deprived, but it has been worth it. Mana was tired and weak after the birth, and on Sunday she was not eating and was not nursing her baby properly. However, the mahouts told us that the baby had been nursed by Boon Jan, another female in our herd with a 2 year old baby of her own. This is a great example of allomothering and it is great to see the other elephants in the GVI herd accepting and taking care of the new arrival. Thong Dee has also been very attentive to both the baby and Mana. As an experienced mother Thong Dee appears to be offering support to Mana, and the new baby is already socializing with Thong Dee, touching her and trying to suck from her nipples.
The newest member of our herd has not been named yet, and it’s customary in Karen culture to wait some time after birth before naming them.
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