Queen Elizabeth II visited an elephant reserve in England prior to its opening to the public and came face to face with the herd’s youngest member named after her….reports Asian Lite News
The 10-month-old female calf was born in June and was named Elizabeth in honour of the Queen’s 90th birthday, Xinhua news agency reported.
The baby elephant, her mom Karishma and nine other Asian elephants will share a new extensive paddock at Whipsnade Zoo, run by the Zoological Society of London (ZSL).
Asian elephants are considered endangered due to habitat loss, poaching and conflict with humans.
The new home for the herd has seven linked outside areas, including a large grass paddock and two separate houses. Additional facilities include pools, mud wallows, dust baths and rubbing posts and high feeders.
The queen, accompanied by Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, fed a banana to one of the elephants.
Professor David Field, Director at the zoo, said the queen was absolutely delighted to learn that the calf, now weighing 460 kg, was named after her.
Zookeepers at Whipsnade described the baby elephant as very playful.
One zookeeper commented: “She even has a football which she takes everywhere and gets stroppy if it is taken away from her.”
Assistant curator of elephants at Whipsnade Lee Sambrook said the queen was especially interested to hear about the round-the-clock care the elephants receive.
The queen is a patron of ZSL, which carried out animal conservation work around the world.