The "miracle" Asian elephant calf, who was born alive yesterday after he was believed to have died in his mother's womb two days ago, is doing well, Taronga Zoo says.
The calf, who was monitored by the zoo's keepers throughout the night, has started to suckle from his mother, Porntip, without help and is moving around, said Mark Williams, the zoo's media relations manager.
"Both he and his mother are well and will be staying in the warm barn today," Mr Williams said in a statement.
"The other elephants, including the zoo's other calf, eight-month old Luk Chai, will be in the exhibit today with access to the barn so they can spend as much time as they wish with the pair".
Mr Williams said the newborn's red eyes were normal for calves, and Luk Chai, the zoo’s first calf, also had a similar feature when it was born eight months ago.
"It settles in a few days ... the camera probably made the eyes look more red".
The 90 to 100-kilogram baby was born at 3.27am yesterday, shocking both zookeepers and the public.
"The looks of disbelief on our faces were quite a picture. We couldn't believe that this could be true," said elephant manager Gary Miller yesterday.
On Monday, the zoo's senior veterinarian Larry Vogelnest said the calf was dead after one week of labour. Berlin-based elephant reproduction expert Thomas Hildebrandt, said then that "should the calf be born alive, it would be a miracle".
Zoo director Cameron Kerr said yesterday that Porntip's baby "still has a long way to go".
"While this is incredible news, the young calf still has a long way to go. Our vets are now working to determine the possible effects of the protracted labour on the calf.
“There are no guarantees of its long-term survival at this early stage but we hope that its birth against the odds will stand it in good stead”.