In an effort to bring you information about elephants at Elephant Nature Park today and interesting events from the past, we would like to share with you a touching story about SriPrae, first published 28 October 2012.
What started like any other early morning at Elephant Nature Park was anything but typical. Thanks to the arrival of a baby boy elephant.
At approximately 5:30 a.m. on 28 October 2012, SriPrae, one of the park’s newer rescued elephants of the 30-plus heard at the park, gave birth to a 97.9 kilo, 84 cm tall boy, Navaan. Named after a supporter of Save Elephant Foundations new project Cambodia Wildlife Sanctuary, Cambodia’s Deputy Director of the Ministry of Forestry. The name Navaan translates to “gold.” Within the first hour of his birth, he was able to nurse and receive the much-needed nutrients from his mother.
“She never presented any signs she was pregnant, so we were quite surprised to hear the elephant commotion in the early morning,” said Sangduen “Lek” Chailert, the founder of Save Elephant Foundation. “Given the long gestation period of elephants and the lack of fertile bulls at Elephant Nature Park upon SriPrae’s arrival at the park, we are convinced she was already pregnant when we rescued her. We have so many false pregnancies at the park we never suspected she might have been carrying a baby.”
The park, which allows elephants to enjoy a life without performing tricks or being beaten, does not actively seek to breed elephants. However, they are allowed to live in herds as elephants would in the wild.
Navaan and SriPrae, who is a survivor of a land mine blast among other past atrocities, quickly had a nanny join the new family, another land mine survivor, MalaiTong. Originally, MalaiTong as a nanny to the park’s other baby boy, the three-year-old Chang Yim. However, a few months ago, MalaiTong began to get milk in her breasts and took company with SriPrae.
For the next few months, the baby and mom will be under constant supervision to ensure they are both healthy before they are released back into the 250-acre park to roam with the other herds.
“We are so overjoyed to have this new addition,” said Chailert. “We look forward to watching him grow and eventually releasing him back into the jungle to live his adult-life as a wild and happy elephant.”