Rare baby elephant delights Mexican zoo

A Mexican zoo is celebrating the birth of its first African elephant as part of its breeding program for the threatened species.

"It is an achievement not just for the conservation of the African elephant but also in the world, because it requires particular attention and care. It's also a sense of pride for Mexico, this does not happen frequently. Elephants are not often born in captivity and the reproduction of an elephant also puts Mexico on the map in conservation, we are a standing in the elephant world," said Frank Carlos Camacho, General Director of Africam Safari Zoo.

Some five years ago Puebla's Africam Safari zoo rescued nine elephants from Namibia. Its care and attention in providing for the herd of elephants has finally borne fruit, with a 242-pound boy.

According to zoo officials, the zoo's newest addition is in good health after a two year gestation period. He was born in May but now has the all clear to run around and play in his enclosure.

"This newly-born male elephant has been immediately part of the international conservation program. The genetic character of this animal is valuable because the elephants are from a desert region and live in very arid regions without water for a long time. And that is the characteristic that has helped the population of the African elephant," added Camacho.

Conservationists report that Africa's wild elephant population is under threat from poachers, with more than 30,000 killed annually and population declining some 8% year on year.