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Now would be the optimum time to head to Dublin Zoo thanks to the nice weather, but now there's another reason to flock to the animal menagerie.

Dublin Zoo just announced the birth of a male Asian elephant calf.

Proud mum Yasmin gave birth to the healthy calf on Monday afternoon, after carrying him for a whopping 22-months.

The calf is estimated to weight about 20 stone, so that's one big baby.

This new arrival is the sixth elephant calf born at Dublin Zoo in less than three years.

'It is with immense pride that we announce the birth of the latest addition to the Asian elephant herd here at Dublin Zoo,' said Gerry Creighton, Operations Manager at Dublin Zoo.

'The birth of an Asian elephant is an amazing spectacle and this was no exception.'

'The arrival of the calf was greeted with celebratory trumpeting and each member of the herd, from the oldest to youngest, played a role in assisting with the birth.'

'We’ve been on an incredible journey over the past three years, overseeing the birth of six elephant calves, placing Dublin Zoo as one the most successful Asian elephant breeding programmes in the world.'

'The recent births are of huge significance for the future of the endangered Asian elephant.'

We can't wait to grab the family of the partner and head to the zoo to see the little guy for ourselves. 

Dublin Zoo is also inviting the public to suggest a name for the new arrival based on his Asian origin.

Name suggestions can be submitted at www.DublinZoo.ie 

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The terrifying moment a young boy was spotted inside the rhino enclosure at Dublin Zoo has been captured by social media users.

Several images show the boy in the company of an adult male – who significantly is standing outside the fence. And with the same images being shared on Twitter, many observers understandably expressed their concern.

One user who was at the zoo on Saturday said she saw the boy in the enclosure for a 'good 20 minutes'.

Asking SHEmazing not be named but confirming the incident with us, she had previously told the Irish Daily Mail: "The child didn’t look scared and nobody really passed any heed on what he was doing.

"The child stood there for a good while and the man kept letting go of his hand and telling him to move further back to pose for a picture."

Rathmines-based architect Ciarán Ferrie also spotted the ordeal, sharing two photos via his Twitter account. 

A spokesperson for the zoo said over the weekend that the "matter is being taken care of internally".

Dublin Zoo keeps several white rhinos as part of its African Plains attraction.

When the Plains initially opened in 2001, the animals – including zebra, ostriches, and giraffe – mingled together. However, after a female rhino charged at and killed a zebra in 2009, the rhinos were segregated into their own space.

At the time, a zoo official stated that the incident was an accident, but added that "there are no guarantees when you're dealing with wild animals".

Three years ago also at Dublin, a two-year-old girl was mauled by a tapir during a supervised visit to the animal’s enclosure. She was left with deep cuts on her arm and stomach and underwent surgery in Temple Street Children’s Hospital.

A decade ago, a 16-year-old girl scaled a two-metre fence to reach the Siberian tiger enclosure. She subsequently received significant injuries to her limb.

A Cincinnati Zoo in June, a three-year-old boy fell into the gorilla enclosure – resulting in the shooting dead of the ape. The boy was unharmed.

In Morocco last month, an eight-year-old girl died after she was accidently struck by a rock thrown by an elephant at Rabat Zoo.

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An unimaginable tragedy: an eight-year-old girl enjoying a day out in a popular zoo died after a rock was hurled at her by an elephant. 

According to eye-witnesses, the youngster was on her dad's shoulders getting a photograph taken by her mother when the tragedy took place. 

She was struck on the head and later died in hospital.

The establishment, Rabat Zoo on the east coast of Morocco, said afterwards in a statement that it was greatly saddened by the incident.

However,  it added that "accidents of this type are rare, unforeseeable and unusual".

It furthermore highlighted that other accidents have taken place recently in other international zoos – citing Disney World Orlando, where a child was taken a killed by an alligator, and Cincinnati Zoo, where a boy fell into a gorilla enclosure but survived – as examples. 

An investigation into the incident has now been launched, says moroccoworldnews.com.

Videos posted to YouTube depict the little girl receiving medical care from passersby.

Some social media noted that the ambulance was delayed arriving to treat the the youngster.On TripAdvisor, the zoo – which opened in 2012 – has largely positive feedback.

Indeed, one visitor wrote that it is a "world-class zoo and family-friendly". They added: "You can easily navigate a baby stroller throughout the zoo."

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Elephants are known to be one of the most intelligent and wise animals on the planet, and this video clearly demonstrates that! Watch as the two animals dance to the classic sounds of Bach. Truly incredible.

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Dumbo washed away!

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Visitors to the Yala National Park in Sri Lanka got a lot more than they were expecting.

If you are planning on a safari trip you might want to leave the food at home.

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