Baby elephant clambers over his big sister at Chester Zoo

Go on sis, give me a piggyback! Baby elephant clambers over his big sister at Chester Zoo (despite already weighing almost three-quarters of a ton)

  • He weighs nearly three-quarters of a ton but like any toddler, Aayu wants to play
  • And that means big sister Nandita has to put up with one-year-old’s heavy antics
  • If that isn’t enough, her sister Indali, a month older than Aayu, also likes to join in

He already weighs nearly three-quarters of a ton. But like any toddler, Aayu the elephant just wants to play.

And that means big sister Nandita has to put up with the one-year-old clambering all over her back when he decides to.

If that isn’t enough, another sister, Indali, who is a month older than Aayu, also likes to join in.

The three are the youngest members of the Asian elephant herd at Chester Zoo and keep visitors entertained with their rolling in the dust, playfights and other antics. 

He already weighs nearly three-quarters of a ton. But like any toddler, Aayu (left) the elephant just wants to play 


Big sister Nandita has to put up with one-year-olds Indali and Nandita clambering all over his back (left)

Nandita, who will be three in August, clearly revels in her role as big sister – and that often means keeping her excitable little brother in check.

‘Little Aayu wants to play fight all the time, which the girls don’t necessarily want to do,’ said Andy McKenzie, the zoo’s elephant team manager.

‘So it can get a bit boisterous. He’s trying to push everybody all the time. He’s 700kg (110st), so he’s not tiny, even though he’s only a year old. But they don’t hurt each other, they are quite robust little things.’

The siblings love nothing more than being together, with a particularly strong bond between Nandita and Aayu, he added.

he siblings love nothing more than being together, with a particularly strong bond between Nandita and Aayu (pictured)

Nandita, who will be three in August, clearly revels in her role as big sister – and that often means keeping her excitable siblings in check

‘They don’t want to be apart. Nandita leads them around and if they are not happy will take them back to their mums. She’s still a baby but she’s learning her role within the herd.’

The eight elephants in their herd span four generations.

The three babies share a father – 16-year-old Aung Bo, who weighs 4.5 tons – but have different mothers, which means there are three older females ready and waiting to keep the youngsters in line.

The herd is part of a European breeding programme for the threatened species – there are only around 40,000 Asian elephants left in the wild as a result of habitat loss, ivory poaching and other human activity.

The three babies share a father – 16-year-old Aung Bo, who weighs 4.5 tons – but have different mothers

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