At 2 weeks old, Planckendael’s little elephant Q has still not been able to suckle from its mother, May Tagu. The baby’s survival is therefore under threat. The animal park decided to get advice from experts at international institutions on Tuesday.
Maternal milk is crucial for the development of the little elephant’s immune system: the life expectancy of a baby that doesn’t get any is less than a year, the park says.
To maximise Q’s chances of survival, Planckendael is mixing milk from Phyo Phyo, a pregnant female elephant, with vitamins. However, the milk’s composition is different from that of an elephant that has already given birth.
Little Q is able to survive this way for now, but the situation is still very worrying. This is why the baby has not been presented to visitors yet.