An elephant calf in the United Kingdom named after an Assam conservationist turned five years old on May 17.
The playful Anjan is considered one of the biggest attractions for visitors to the 128-acre Chester Zoo. The male calf was named by the zoo authorities after Anjan Baruah, an elephant conservationist specialising in mitigating human-elephant conflicts.
Housing more than 20,000 animals including giraffes, lions, tigers, primates, reptiles, and crocodiles, Chester Zoo has a large enclosure for Asian elephants designed according to their habitat needs.
Many visitors are drawn to Anjan, whose father Aung Bo was relocated from Spain and whose mother Thi Ha Way died in September 2020 due to arthritic complications.
Mr. Baruah worked for Chester Zoo for 13 years under an elephant-human coexistence project in Assam. His involvement with the project entailed visiting the zoo and the calf was born during one such visit on May 17, 2018.
“I later received a mail from a zoo official informing me that the newborn calf has been named after me. I was overwhelmed by the gesture of the Chester Zoo authorities,” Mr. Baruah said.
He is now associated with Aaranyak, one of India’s foremost biodiversity conservation organisations based in Guwahati.
The zoo has been sending photos of his namesake elephant photos and updating him regularly on his activities, vaccinations and growth.
The Asian elephant is listed as endangered by the International Union of Conservation of Nature. The main reasons for the decline in their population include habitat loss, fragmentation and human-elephant conflict.