Maternity exercise class for pregnant elephant

Expectant elephant Panang is getting ready to give birth using antenatal stretches

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Like any mum-to-be, 20-year-old Panang the elephant is preparing herself to give birth as she nears her two-year gestation period – with daily maternity exercises!

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After suffering two miscarriages, expectant mum Panang, with the help of her minder, Andi Fries, carefully performs antenatal stretches to help strengthen her muscles for when her labour begins.

In her pen at the Tierpark Hellabrunn Zoo in Munich, Panang begins her morning bending, stretching and getting into yoga-like positions designed to build up her muscles to ensure her calf doesn’t grow too big.

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Elephants in captivity usually have their legs tethered during labour, to prevent them hurting themselves and emergency caesareans have been attempted, but at the risk of the elephants life. By doing her maternity exercises, the zoo hopes Panang will have a healthy birth.

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