The film, according to a zoo that uses night-vision equipment to keep an eye on its Asian elephant herd, is “vital” for preserving the endangered species in the wild.
In the video, 11-month-old Nang Phaya is seen crawling over her aunts Karishma, 24, and Lucha, 41, as if to want them to play as they try to fall asleep.The multigenerational herd at Whipsnade Zoo, close to Dunstable in Bedfordshire, is being watched over by cameras at night, according to elephant keeper Stefan Groeneveld. This allows the crew to give round-the-clock care and get greater insight into the changes in the family dynamic since Nang Phaya’s birth last year.
“This most recent video demonstrates that Nang Phaya is still playing and isn’t ready to grow up just yet.” He continued by saying that every bit of information acquired helps the crew provide the “tight-knit” herd the finest care possible. He said, “We’re able to learn so much more about these incredible animals thanks to advancements in camera technology.”
“Our covert cameras caught Donna giving birth to Nang Phaya last year. She was supported and reassured by her own mother Kaylee and the other females in the herd.” The cameras are now being used to gather further information about the herd’s social structure, sleep habits, and nighttime interactions.
Little Phaya, who is often seen snuggled up close to 41-year-old aunty Lucha and 24-year-old Karishma, has adopted Lucha as a second mother after seeing hours of nighttime video over the last year. This demonstrates the close-knit herd dynamics at Whipsnade as well as Phaya’s bond with every female.
The video from the conservation zoo not only assists scientists from the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) who deal with Asian elephants in the wild, but it also sheds light on the herd’s nighttime activities. Mr. Groeneveld stated: “Unfortunately, poachers, conflicts with the communities they coexist with, habitat loss and degradation, and droughts pose constant threats to elephants in the wild, making them one of the most persecuted species in the world.”
In order to enable faecal DNA testing, the conservation study also involves motion studies, thermal imaging, sound monitoring to facilitate communication, and dung collection.