Move over, Knut...

Berlin - Berlin has a new animal celebrity - a baby elephant who immediately followed his abrupt birth at the weekend with a spectacular splash in the pool.

The as-yet-unnamed male elephant was born suddenly on Sunday at the elephant enclosure in the capital's Tierpark zoo.

"It got up, walked into the pool, fell down and had to swim in deep water," zoo director Bernhard Blaszkiewitz said on Wednesday, when the animal made his first public appearance since his birth.

"Our people pulled it out of the water right away," he added.

The zoo said the young bull was the third baby born to 26-year-old African elephant Pori, and the twelfth at the zoo since 1998.

He weighed 117.2kg at birth and had a back length of 91cm.

In reports accompanying pictures of Sunday's elephant rescue, some media portrayed the elephant as having been rejected by his mother, but the zoo said Pori and her 6-year-old daughter, Tana, were "taking exemplary care of the newborn".

"The mother nudged the baby to make it get on its feet but on the pictures it looks like she wanted to flatten it," Blaszkiewitz said.

"However, elephants always do that and they do it very carefully with their feet and their trunk."

The new arrival comes five months after the birth of a major Berlin animal star - Knut the polar bear, who was rejected by his mother and hand-raised by zookeepers at the capital's other major zoo.

So potent is Knut's appeal that zoo attendance has roughly doubled to 15 000 on average daily since his debut.

He has attracted exhaustive media attention, including his own blog and TV show, and appeared on the cover of Vanity Fair.
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Lightning Hits A Tree

This is the most amazing lightning strike you will ever see. Lightning hit a tree approximately 20 feet from the camera. The tree died a few months after the strike.
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"Ashes and Snow" photographer screens rarely-seen film

In a rare public appearance, photographer Gregory Colbert shares an astounding film from his exhibit, Ashes and Snow, and announces his new initiative, the Animal Copyright Foundation, which aims to collect royalties from companies using images of nature in their ad campaigns.

For more than a decade, Gregory Colbert has traveled the world and collaborated with 40+ species to create "Ashes and Snow," a ground-breaking exhibition of more than 100 photographs and three films, housed in the Nomadic Museum. Colbert's extraordinary sepia-toned images reveal a rarely seen poetic beauty in man's relationship to the animal kingdom.

(Recorded February 2006 in Monterey, CA. Duration: 18:42)
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