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First hybrid elephant born in Guangzhou
Latest Updated by 2005-04-07 11:27:39

Guangzhou has its first "mixed blood'' elephant Monday after a Malaysian elephant gave birth to a baby after 21-month pregnancy at the city's Xiangjiang Safari Park.

The baby elephant was a hybrid of two different species, the Guangzhou Daily reported Tuesday.

The paper said its gender was still unknown since the mother was all nerves and did not allow keepers to approach, but it suspected the baby was a girl.

The baby, about 80 centimeters tall, had a dark skin and weighed 90 kilograms, looked rather small beside the 1,500-kilogram mother.

The mother has a long trunk and short tail, typical of the Malaysian elephant, while the father is just the opposite.

Zoologists said baby elephants were fragile and needed 12-hour sleep each day.

The park said the baby would not be put on display for the time being.

The Asian Elephant, or Indian Elephant, is the largest land wild animal in the world, more than three meters tall and weighing more than three tons.

There are only about 3,500 to 5,000 wild Asian Elephants worldwide, most inhabiting in India and Southeast Asia.

There are less than 300 Asian Elephants living in China, mostly in Xishuangbanna in Yunnan Province.

Asian Elephants usually have short life expectancies but can live for more than 100 years. They breed once every five years and usually gives birth to one baby each pregnancy, which takes 18 to 22 months.

Li Jing

Editor: Catherine

By: Source:szdaily web edition
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